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Annual Report 2011 12


homes communities


There is always someone to chat to at Auden House

“ Welcome to York Housing Association’s Annual Report. This is my sixth year as Chair of the Board here, and I continue to remain honoured to play my part in leading York Housing Association through another year of strong performance. This is especially pleasing given the ongoing challenges of the external environment in which we are operating. We continue to invest in our partnerships - with local authorities, the Homes and Communities Agency, care providers, developers, fellow housing associations and others; so that we remain in a strong position to provide the best quality homes and services we can. However, it is critical that these meet the needs and aspirations

of our customers, so we’ve also invested this year in gathering and using information about our customers, to ensure we provide tailored services. I am delighted to report another very successful financial year. With both the redevelopment of the Discus bungalows scheme, and the Transfer of Engagements from Tuke Housing Association completing during the course of the last year, we have had one of our strongest years of growth. These activities also contributed to our healthy operating surplus, significant growth in our property assets and an increase in our turnover.

I continue to remain honoured to play my part in leading York Housing Association through another year of strong performance.

Jolyon Harrison, Chair

We were successful in securing a contract with the Homes and Communities Agency to develop another 33 homes over the next three years, part funded by a government grant. This all puts us in a strong financial position to manage the challenges ahead from the Welfare Reform Act, and to enable us to invest in the provision of more affordable homes and services in the future. Following the retirement of our Chief Executive, Christine Storrs, during the year, I have enjoyed working closely with Julia Histon, her successor, to build on the Association’s strong foundations. This report highlights some of our key activities and achievements over the last year. 3


‘YHA in Bloom’ entries of a high standard again.

During the last year we have exceeded our targets to increase the number of new homes and customers. 2011 saw the completion of York Housing Association’s parts of the ‘Discus Bungalows’ sites, developed in partnership with Tees Valley Housing and City of York Council. Auden House, our first purpose built extra care scheme, as well as the Faber Street bungalows became fully occupied during the year. The family homes on Richmond Street also completed, with some let for rent and others sold under the ‘discount for sale’ scheme, and shared ownership, enabling first time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder at a significantly reduced cost. During the year we took the decision to ‘bid’ for future development through the Homes and Communities Agency in order to secure Government grant from 2011 to 2015. We joined a

consortium of other housing associations called ISOS to negotiate our bid. We were successful in this and were awarded £590,000 in grant to deliver a contract for 33 new homes across our operating area. The rest of the funding will be met by our Local Authority partners, through loans secured from The Royal Bank of Scotland, and by converting a number of homes to the new affordable rent (80% of the market rent).

These projects will make a real impact in improving the quality of life for local people

John Gilham, Development and Property Director

The new homes will include 12 family homes in York, 15 one bedroom apartments for single homeless people in Scarborough, accomodation for 3 supported housing clients in Scarborough with mental ill health, and 3 supported homes for young people leaving care in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Laying the foundations of a new supported housing scheme at Seventh Avenue, York



Tuke House

Friargate House

We aim to be a partner of choice and support key organisations.

Existing Homes At York Housing Association we recognise that we need to balance our investment between developing more new homes and investing in those we already have, to ensure we retain high quality well maintained properties that people aspire to live in. During 2011/12 we have continued to invest in our existing stock, for example embarking on a significant programme of window replacements at our Bretgate scheme. Due to its conservation status this has taken lots of time and negotiation with Planners and Conservation Officers as well as tenants, but we know the end result will be one that sustains this popular York central development in excellent condition for many years to come.

Tuke Housing Association During 2011 we finalised arrangements to receive the transfer of all homes, services and employees of longstanding Tuke Housing Association, following their Management Committee taking the difficult decision to close. So in February 2012, all the legal arrangements were complete, and Tuke Housing Association sadly folded after many years of good service to the York community. York Housing Association now formally owns the property interests of Tuke Housing Association and we are delighted to welcome Tuke tenants and staff to join us.

Window replacements at Bretgate, York


Supported housing customers complete ‘Life Skills’ training course with York Housing Association. 8

Customer feedback on our services is really important, so that we can continue to improve what we do

Kate Spencer, Operations Director

We also continue to provide services to a wide range of customers through our Supporting People contracts, and during 2011 were successful in securing a new larger contract to deliver Homeless Prevention Support Services across all tenures in York. This means we can now deliver advice and support to people facing homelessness, regardless of whether they rent their home from the local authority, a housing association, or private landlord; or if they own their home and are facing difficulties. This new service was launched in November 2011 and by the end of the year had supported a number of customers to prevent them from becoming homeless.

However, we can’t deliver this service alone and rely heavily on our strong partnerships with a wide range of other agencies to provide expert or specialist advice to our customers.

Property Maintenance Workers In response to requests from residents through the Local Offers, we appointed a second property maintenance worker during the year. This means we can now offer all new residents up to two hours of ‘Handy person’ assistance when moving into a York Housing Association property, e.g. hanging curtains, putting up shelves, positioning furniture.

This initiative also allows us to increase the range of repairs we can carry out in-house and continue to provide a highly responsive repairs service that demonstrates value for money.



We aim to be an excellent service provider to all customers.

Auden House During 2011/12 we have worked hard not just to move people into our Extra Care scheme at Auden House, but to support the establishment of a new community there. This means we have invested time and funds in supporting residents to engage in social activities, and, more recently, to consider becoming formally organised into a residents association so they can take the lead in decision making and planning the social aspects of life in Auden House. We have also seen the first full year of commercial activity at Auden House develop with the hairdressers ‘Mwah! For Hair’ doing well, and ‘The Terrace Café’ selling Costa Coffee is starting to attract more external customers which is essential if it is to become self financing. A recent art exhibition in partnership with the Bar Lane Studios at which local artists have displayed their works, has contributed to attracting external visitors, as well as keeping the interior of Auden House lively and interesting for residents.

Delivering ‘more for less’ During the year, we have also had to consider new ways of ‘delivering more for less’ as our local authority partners face significant cuts and the funding available for our Older Persons Support services is reducing. We are therefore piloting a ‘Hub and Spoke’ approach to providing older persons support which we believe will reduce operating costs but retain as much of a support service to all our sheltered housing residents as possible. Over the last year our Older Persons Support Workers have been relocated into Auden House as the ‘hub’ and provide their call services, including an on site presence to Bretgate, Margaret Philipson Court and Lichfield Court, as the ‘spokes’. We will continue to evaluate and shape this model to meet residents’ needs over time.


Strength in our people “

York Housing Association is all about people. So whether we are dealing with customers, Board members, or staff we aim to make the experience a positive one Julia Histon, Chief Executive

Strong Governance

Tenant Scrutiny

Employer of Choice

Our aim is to have a robust governance structure – which means a strong Board with the necessary skills and knowledge to steer the Association through these challenging economic times.

York Housing Association exists to provide services to its customers and as such we are keen to establish a ‘co-regulatory’ approach to our governance. This means we want to find better ways for our customers to regulate what we do – through scrutinising the decisions we make and the services we deliver as a result. One way of doing this is through the establishment of a Tenant Scrutiny Panel. We have therefore engaged an Independent Tenant Advisor from TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) to assist York Housing Association and its tenants to establish such a body.

If York Housing Association is a great place to work, we can attract and retain the best possible staff and therefore provide the best possible services to our customers. During 2011 we were delighted to successfully retain our Investors in People award which is assessed every three years. We also continue to invest in training and developing our people and this has become particularly important with the raft of new housing related legislation introduced.

We were therefore delighted that three new Board members were elected at the Annual General Meeting in September 2011 – Mike Leonard, Pat Walton, and Janet Whipps. They bring specific skills and experience in financial and property management, social care, the housing market and regeneration. This takes the Board up to ten full members, and we have a further three potential future members currently ‘observing’ at Board meetings. Board membership continues to be unpaid, with only out of pocket expenses and any training costs met by the Association. 12

We have set up a working group of Board members, tenants and staff to work with TPAS to take this forward over the forthcoming year.

We provide opportunities for staff at all levels to engage in developing the business with action groups meeting regularly to develop our services. For example Equality and Diversity and Environmental issues.









Supported 244 Older Persons 110


General Needs and Affordable 230

East Riding

Our aim is to remain financially strong, so that we can continue to deliver more of what we do well… providing homes and services for people in need!



Properties breakdown


Students 28 IMR 19

Paul Roberts, Finance Director


Strong Financial position York Housing Association is a notfor-profit organisation, and our primary objective is to provide homes and services to people in need. We aim to ensure that we generate sufficient income to meet our ongoing operating costs, to maintain all of our properties in good condition, and to contribute to our reserves in order to reinvest in more of our activities. York Housing Association is committed to setting rents and service charges at affordable levels and contract prices that offer value for money to service commissioners.

The following two pages provide a copy of our Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet which provide the best summary of the Association’s financial position for 2011-12. These are extracted from the financial statements of the Association which have been audited by Mitchell Charlesworth, Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors, who gave an unqualified opinion. A full copy of the audited accounts is freely available from the Chief Executive.

March 2011

March 2012





Void Losses



Bad Debts



Rent Arrears (net of Housing Benefit) Rent and Service Charge Collection


Day to Day Repairs

Income and Expenditure Account For the year ended 31 March 2012

Total number


Average number of repairs per property


Repairs completed on time/to suit tenant

2101 97.4%

Tenants satisfaction with repairs Work completed on time


Appointment kept


Work satisfactory


Improving Homes During the year we invested £254,000 in improvements to our properties, including:

40 Velux Roof Windows 20 Aids & Adaptations 8 Bathrooms

Year to 31/03/2012

Restated Year to 31/03/2011






Operating costs



Operating surplus



Other income



Surplus on sale of fixed assets housing properties



Interest receivable and other income



Interest payable and similar charges



Impairment to property held for sale



Surplus/(deficit) for the financial year



Prior year adjustment





48 Electrical Upgrades 8 External Doors 20 Fire Risk Assessments 27 Heating Replacements 9 Kitchens 14 New Windows


Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2012 31/03/2012 £’000 Fixed assets Housing properties: Cost Social Housing and other grants Depreciation


42,785 (25,118) (2,924)

Other tangible fixed assets

Restated 31/03/2011 £’000 £’000

35,967 (22,824) (2,396) 14,743






Current assets Properties held for sale Debtors Investments Cash at bank and in hand

159 515 649 744

136 362 846 291

Creditors: amount falling due within one year

2,067 (1,048)

1,635 (1,398)

Net current assets/(liabilities)



Total assets less current liabilities



Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year



Capital and reserves Non equity share capital Revenue reserve Association’s funds


3,627 6,612





Mission Statement To be an excellent landlord, providing high quality housing and support services, making a positive contribution in the communities with which we work.


Strategic Business Priorities

All our activities will be conducted according to principles and practices which reflect the association’s values. We will:

The strategic business priorities for 2012 – 17:

Ensure that customers are a driving force behind the business. Be pro-active in finding ways to support a diverse range of individuals and local communities. Treat all those with whom we are associated equally, fairly and with respect, and actively challenge any form of discrimination. Use creativity and innovation to achieve continuous improvement.

Remain independent and retain strong financial viability, robust governance and effective risk management. Increase the number of new properties and customers. Be an excellent service provider to all customers. Be a partner of choice and support key organisations. Be an employer of choice.


Maximise the positive environmental impact of our activities.

2 Alpha Court, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, York Y032 9WN T: 01904 636061 F: 01904 612623 E: York Housing Association Ltd. is a housing association with charitable status. Registered as an Industrial and Provident Society No.16826R. Registered with the Tenant Services Authority No L1019

York Housing Association Annual Report 2012  

Annual report, designed by Red Bonsai, for York Housing Association.

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