Page 1

2012-2013 RESIDENT ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY A warm welcome from Terry Steeples, resident and member of the Orbit South Resident Engagement Focus Group. I am pleased to present you with the Orbit South 2013 Resident Annual Report summary on behalf of the Orbit South Resident Engagement Focus Group. This summary gives you an overview of how Orbit South has delivered against the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) consumer standards and used your feedback to improve services for residents.

things better. This means we have a real voice within Orbit and as a result, services for everyone are improved. The Resident Engagement Focus Group helped put together this summary and the full version of the annual report. In the next few pages, you will find key information about how Orbit and residents work together, how Orbit performed and how residents have helped shape improvements over the last year. We hope you find it interesting!

Residents play a key role in shaping how Orbit works. Different resident groups partner with staff to review how things are done and find ways of making

To view the full version of the Orbit South 2013 Resident Annual Report, visit

Homes and Communities Agency Consumer Standards As a housing association, Orbit South follows national standards by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). In this summary, we’ve selected key information from our full annual report to let you know how we’ve measured up in the following areas:

Tenant involvement and empowerment • how we give residents opportunities to influence housing related policies and how our services are delivered • how we involve residents in scrutinising performance • how we manage complaints and improve our services by learning from them.

Homes • how we provide homes that are warm, weatherproof and have modern facilities • how we provide a cost effective repairs service that responds to, meets the needs of and offers choice to residents.

Neighbourhoods and community • how we keep neighbourhoods clean and safe by working with residents and other partners • how we promote social, environmental and economic well-being in the communities where we work • how we work with other partners and agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour.

More information about the HCA’s national standards can be found at

Tenancy • how we rent homes in a fair and transparent way and make the best use of available housing • how we meet the aspirations and needs of current and potential residents, contribute to local authorities’ strategic aims and help deliver sustainable communities.


Tenant involvement and empowerment Resident focus groups, blogs, online research communities, panels, forums and associations


One of the most important ways for us improve is to listen to what you tell us. There are a number of ways that we collect your feedback and use it to guide us:

Neighbourhood Facebook pages

Committee and Board membership

STAR survey


Resident Inspectors


MOT (moment of truth) surveys

The Orbit South Resident Scrutiny Panel has been busy as always! Last year, they reviewed how we carry out estate inspections and how we prepare empty homes for new families. They made some great suggestions that are being worked on right now. They’ve just started a review of service charges, so keep an eye out for an update on their progress later in the year.


Estate inspections

Local offers

The Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate provided a stunning seaside backdrop to the Orbit South Residents’ Conference last September. 39 of the residents involved in our various resident groups and panels joined us for a lively day of activities and interesting presentations.


of residents are satisfied that we take their views into account (down 0.4% from 2012).


of residents think that we do a good job of keeping them informed about things that affect them as residents (a decrease of 1.4% from 2012).

Street and Block Voices







Scrutiny panels

Mystery shopping Community events

Delivering value for money

Getting the best value for money is really important and we constantly look for ways to achieve this in all that we do. Every team at Orbit looks to identify and track savings and then each year, those savings are reinvested into our communities. Through these efforts, last year we saved an additional £535,000 which is being put towards a wide range of community projects.

All of this feedback allows us to continually learn from what we do. It tells us what we do well and where we need to improve, so that we can make positive changes for all residents.

We also had a challenge to see which team could find the best savings and our Planned Works team saved an incredible £351,000 by sourcing outside funding and getting better prices for energy saving improvements and insulation upgrades.

Homes People who live in Orbit South homes

19% of residents surveyed did not respond

Types of homes we manage General needs rented


Housing for older people


(includes Private Retirement Leasehold)

Supported housing (all ages) Home owners and leaseholders (not including Private Retirement Leasehold)

44 2,581

% 3 6

nt s e d i le res fema f o re a

73 %

W B r hi t e i t is h

37% of residents are male

8% Non-White British

32 %

of r are eside the ove nts of age r 60

% 5 1

nt s de u s i s re ld a of ve to ave ha ey h ility t h is ab d

Getting homes ready for new residents After residents moved out, we prepared 796 homes to be re-let to new residents who need them. It took us an average of 18.3 days to complete the works to get each home ready for new residents.

The Orbit South Scrutiny Panel helped review this area and as a result, we’re now developing checklists for cleaning and labelling for stop taps.

Gas safety Repairs



of Orbit South homes held a current gas safety certificate as of 31 March 2013.

repairs completed

98.5% within target timescales

Our Neighbourhood teams saved ÂŁ6,600 last year by applying for gas service access injunctions directly instead of paying lawyers.

86.7% of residents are satisfied with the overall condition of their home (an increase of 1.2% from 2012).

Neighbourhoods and community Last year in Orbit South and Orbit East...


apprentices developed their skills in office administration, construction, sports/fitness and grounds maintenance


residents completed training and/or obtained a qualification

In Orbit South last year…


anti-social behaviour cases were reported



early interventions by our Neighbourhoods Team


injunction issued with the power of arrest


In Rother, East Sussex, we partnered with other agencies with the aim of reducing poverty among older people in the area. 44 Orbit residents were visited and given assistance on claiming benefits, reducing their fuel bills and increased support for any housing issues. Over £70,000 has been claimed by these residents from new, better or reinstated benefits! cases of mediation



written warnings issued, along with 14 verbal warnings

At Arthur Street in Bexley, we’ve worked hard to tackle anti-social behaviour. We’ve partnered with other agencies to introduce a new ASB hotline, a new local lettings plan, CCTV monitoring and a new Dispersal Zone with the Metropolitan Police. We’ve also setup a new Bexley Facebook page so that we can have online conversations with residents about local issues. Search ‘Orbit South Bexley’ to find out more.


1,308 new tenancies were started last year It took us on average 20 days to let our general needs properties It took us on average 43.1 days to let our sheltered and very sheltered properties Gross rent arrears (rent before Housing Benefit payment)

Net rent arrears (rent after Housing Benefit payment)

4.61% 4.22%

3.39% 3.04%

(£2,765,474) (£2,727,692)

(£2,033,706) (£1,963,603)





According to Housemark, we ranked 33rd out of 115 providers when it comes to rent collection


Get involved! Whether you have a little or a lot of spare time, we are always happy to hear from residents who want to get involved in shaping our services. For more information, please contact a member of the Resident Engagement Team on 0800 678 1221.

We’ve been working hard to help you understand the changes that the new Welfare Reforms are bringing. We’ve published regular articles in In 2 Orbit and sent all residents a copy of our handy ‘Guide to Welfare Reform’ last September. We have also added three new sketch animations to our website to give you a visual way of accessing information so you can check to see if any of the reforms affect you. Go to and follow the link from our homepage to find out more. 1,078 Orbit South households were identified by their local authority as being affected by the new Welfare Reforms including 845 of which were being under occupied. We saw 117 residents directly and wrote to all 1,078 households with further information. We have a specialist Welfare Benefits Advisor who can help guide you if you have any questions about the changes. Contact us on 0800 678 1221 to learn more.

Orbit South 2013 resident annual report summary  
Orbit South 2013 resident annual report summary  

Summary of Orbit South Housing Association annual report for residents for year ending March 2013