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The Business Plan 2014 to 2018

strong sustainable growth to make a dierence to people’s lives, homes and communities


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efficient

greener

honest

growth

more

responsible

wiser supportive

people

fair

communities

Together Strong successful

sustainable growth

open homes

make a difference do the right thing

commitment

smarter

better

What WWH stands for Whether it’s building homes, creating communities or simply cutting the grass, we care about what we do and whether we make a difference. We know what we stand for and having a decent home where people are safe, secure and can put down roots is fundamental. No profits are taken, no dividends paid, we make every penny count. We use our income to improve services and properties. We also invest in the future, building more housing in which people make their home and build their lives. As a business with a strong social purpose most of our money is spent locally to make the biggest difference. Supporting Welsh manufacturers, suppliers and employers helps our residents and the communities in which they live. We take our responsibilities seriously. Over 17,000 people depend on us for the homes they live in and over 30,000 people across Wales rely on us being there 24 hours a day, every day, to respond to their need for repairs, emergencies, advice and support. Our service users come from all walks of life, including some of the most vulnerable and frail in society and being there, on hand, is an important part of what we stand for. People come first in our world and that’s made a

Kathy Smart, WWH Chair and Anne Hinchey, WWH Chief Executive with Jane Styles, resident, at the 2012 Making a Difference Awards.

difference. We were judged the 7th best place to work in the UK by the Sunday Times Best Companies (not for profit) and almost nine out of ten residents are really pleased with us as their landlord. In fact residents’ satisfaction has increased year on year for almost a decade. These achievements do not happen by accident, they are the result of listening to residents and staff and doing the right thing ­ an old­fashioned phrase perhaps, but one that everybody understands and we genuinely mean. Our business has changed in recent years as we have responded to new opportunities. We have created three new

companies, wholly owned by WWH; Cambria Maintenance Services now covers all of Wales and employs close to 90 people, Enfys Developments has over 350 homes being built and the catering division of Castell Homes will serve its first meal this autumn. The reach of our organisation and our financial strength means we can help even more residents make the most of the opportunities they have. This is what we stand for and we are proud of the difference we make. Kathy Smart, WWH Chair, Anne Hinchey, WWH Chief Executive


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Operating environment Having a decent and affordable home is fundamental to a successful life and to a successful Wales. Everyone knows this and the continued priority given to housing by Welsh Government and local councils makes a big difference. Notwithstanding this, too few new homes are being built and a fundamental debate is needed about the standard of these homes and what ‘affordable’ means. More homes are urgently needed and some of the barriers to increasing supply remain. Available land for development is limited and the requirements from both government and local councils increases the cost of new homes considerably. Building a consensus between stakeholders so that everyone understands the relative viability of

developments and what social benefit is reasonable is critical if the housing problem is to be solved. The welfare reforms risk undermining the considerable benefit the housing association sector can bring. The concept behind changes such as the Universal Credit is welcomed ­ there is need for a simpler system, one

that supports employment and helps individuals take more responsibility for themselves. However its introduction needs to be done carefully and take account of individual resident’s circumstances if it is not to cause undue hardship. The application of the so­called bedroom tax to

Our development on Kingsmills Road in Wrexham, which together with neighbouring site Rivulet Road will provide 147 affordable new homes, is nearing completion

Llys Jasmine Extra Care/Dementia Care scheme in Mold, Flintshire, with 61 apartments and 2 bungalows is believed to be the first of its kind in Wales to include purpose­built apartments for dementia sufferers.

existing households has left some in particularly difficult situations and we are assisting all of them to better afford their rent or to move. Our stock profile means we are less affected than most as we have a large number of smaller homes and many dedicated for older persons for which there is growing demand. The impact of the many welfare reforms remains unclear and our analysis

shows that our business plan is robust even if the worse predictions come to fruition, though this may not be true of the sector as a whole. With lower levels of available capital subsidy, limited rent rises and caps on the level of local housing allowance, housing associations are being asked to use more of their financial capacity to bridge

the gap. While we, and a number of others, can continue to do this for some years, alternative sources of income are needed if we are to continue to grow our housing stock in the longer term. Regulation needs to keep pace with the diversification of the sector and impending changes and the recent review and commitment to more proportionate co­regulation is welcomed.


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Well placed for the future We are well placed for the future; socially responsible, leaner, more responsive and fair in how we treat our residents and staff. People want to be treated as individuals and listened to ­ not provided with a ‘one size fits all’ service, instead something that is tailored to their specific needs. We all expect more and successful landlords are those that listen, are flexible and respond to changing demands.

Carl Sargeant, Housing Minister, with Ryan Baillie and Nathan Platt, apprentices, and Anne Hinchey Chief Executive of WWH on site at Llys Jasmine Extra Care/Dementia Care scheme in Mold


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At the heart of our vision for the future is to make a difference in all that we do. We no longer own properties in some counties of Wales, such as Ynys Mon, Gwynedd and Ceredigion, because there were other social landlords more able to make a difference in those communities. Landlords never want to transfer stock but we felt this was the responsible thing to do and the last one was sold in January 2013. We are now better placed to focus on those counties where we have more homes and can have a real impact in the locality. We invest more than £65 million each year in these areas, keeping more than 1,000 people in work, for example our new 150 home development in Wrexham has supported 19 apprentices and over 10,000 hours of training.

“Our commitment to keeping every penny as local as we can means that our £65 million annual spend results in over £160 million to the economy, most of it staying in Wales.”

WWH staff in fancy dress at our Annual Staff Conference 2013

Many aspects of public provision are under ‘reform’ – welfare, health, social care – services we all use. In times of change we all need a little support to help us learn new skills or cope in new surroundings. Each week we visit more than 1,000 people in their homes supporting them to stay out of debt, out of

hospital, in work or in education. Through our accredited customer service centre we take over 600 calls every day and through the night making sure emergencies are looked after whether it’s a repair, a noisy neighbour or monitoring whether someone has had a fall.

Decent, affordable housing is fundamental. All our homes meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and in many areas particularly for energy efficiency, exceed it. While gas and electricity prices only seem to go up we have cut the cost of living in many of our homes in some cases by hundreds of pounds a year.

We are one of Wales’ largest landlords and we continue to grow at pace. Across the Group, we employ close to 500 people, each playing a key part in our achievements. Our size and financial strength is important, enabling us to provide new homes, create new social

enterprise and take advantage of opportunities to become more efficient through growth. Our size also enables us to play an increasing part in influencing the sector and helping to shape national policies that affect our residents, their communities and our business.


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Provide homes for people in housing need We will build more than 1,000 homes in the next few years. The first of six themes to the business plan is to provide more homes for people in housing need. The chronic shortage of housing in Wales has been made worse with the lowest level of completions for decades. We have responded to this challenge and year on year are building more homes with 460 homes built in the last five years.

More We will build more than 1,000 homes in the next few years

Even more homes are needed though and in the last year or so we have focused on how we can further increase the supply. Our current programme will see us build more than 1,000 homes in the next five years with an investment of almost £140 million in the Welsh economy. Family housing has been our main focus and for the future more homes will be for older people, in particular extra care schemes and smaller homes. Our local authority partners are really important to helping us sustain this level of development and the strong track record achieved to date stands us both in good stead.

We have created two new companies which will help us with our development

Cefn y Nant, a development of 55 new affordable homes, is part of a £17m building programme across two sites in Wrexham that we are building in partnership with Wrexham County Borough Council.

programme. Enfys will manage developments for the Group and currently has over 350 homes on site under construction and is saving us £1 million over the next few years while providing homes of even better quality than before. Castell will build over 90 new properties in the next five years, all for sale.

We see affordability as key – both in terms of the rent and the other costs of living in the property. All our homes are within the rent limits for housing benefit so that everyone can afford

any of our properties, some with the help of benefit and others not. Keeping rents lower than the market is only part of the solution. People need to be able to afford to run their home, especially the heating. We have changed the design of the new homes we build to exceed the minimum building regulation standards and make them cheaper to run. Our focus has been to make the structure as energy efficient as possible thus reducing the need for heating and lowering their carbon footprint with features such as solar panels providing free electricity during the day.

Opposite: Michaela and Michael Williams and their children Lacey 18 months and Joseph, 5 months at their new home in Llys Bryniau, Bryniau Road, Llandudno.


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Maximising our impact Continuous improvement comes from listening to residents. It is only by listening that we can tailor our services to what matters to each and every resident. We focus on what residents tell us and this is what we measure ourselves against. People’s needs and circumstances change and we are learning how we can get better in responding to these changes quickly and reliably. We know we are getting there, as more of our residents are satisfied with us as their landlord and the home they live in. We are not complacent and want greater success. We want our residents to be our greatest ambassadors and we will expand how residents are able to engage with us and shape the services we deliver to meet their needs. The continued expansion of area improvement planning will ensure staff and residents work together keeping our schemes great places to live. The impact of welfare reform is far reaching and has affected both our rent and lettings services. We remain determined not to let the changes undermine our commitment to helping our residents remain in their home for as long as they wish. We will strengthen our service to help people manage their finances and stay out debt, simplify access to our homes and explore how we can expand our tenancy and housing related support to all residents irrespective of age and where they live.

Our Connect24 emergency alarm and customer service centre continues to grow and now supports more than 27,000 people across Wales. We are working with several more housing associations providing their out of hours repairs service and are ambitious that we can become one of the largest providers of these services in Wales.

Cambria has also grown and its impact is being felt more widely. The company, established at the start of 2011, now covers all of Wales and undertakes a wide range of different repair and improvement works. Last year the company moved into kitchen and bathroom renewals and electrical

Craig Davis, Housing Options Officer, discusses our plans for Llys Jasmine Extra Care/Dementia Care scheme with local residents in Mold

rewiring, in all completing works to 180 properties. Cambria saved WWH over £400,000 in 2012 and provided secure employment for more than 90 people. Making a difference does not happen by accident; it is achieved through the dedication and hard work of our staff. The better they are, the more that can be done for our residents, which is why we will invest in coaching and training of our staff, and where possible residents, so they make the best of new technology and systems of work. Opposite: Craig Atherton, Housing Officer, with Newtown local resident Nicola Jarmen, at our recent public consultation event regarding plans for our new extra care scheme.

Better Continuous improvement comes from listening to residents


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Chris Ruane, MP, Councillor Andy Rutherford, Mayor of Rhyl, Councillor Margaret McCarroll (South West Rhyl) with Anne Hinchey, WWH Chief Executive and residents at the official opening of Buxton Court communal gardens

Minimising the impact on the environment by WWH and our residents Spending our money differently ­ buying better, more sustainable products is at the heart of our third theme for this business plan. We are shifting our business to one that is having less of a negative impact on the environment and helping our residents to do the same.

Owen Jones, WWH Environment & Sustainability Officer on site at the St Mellons Community Garden in Cardiff.

Greener Spending our money differently ­ buying better, more sustainable products

Saving people money and saving the planet, we believe are two sides of the same coin. Finding ways to help people reduce the cost of heating their home, eating fresh vegetables or driving less miles is good for the environment and the pocket. We are changing our schemes to ones with fruit trees, vegetable plots and solar panels; changing homes to ones with high levels of insulation and new types of heating systems and electricity from renewable

sources. We have made good progress with these changes, completing over 30 projects in 2012, and will continue to work with residents on new ways to reduce our impact. We have struggled to make a real impact on the business miles our staff do each year. More of our staff are scheme based and many others work from home which has reduced the carbon impact. We have more to do and this remains a challenge.


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Making the best use of our assets We will continue to help our residents live in homes that best meet their needs – right facilities, affordable and the right size. We have achieved the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and our homes are some of the most energy efficient of all social housing and we will improve these further to reduce fuel poverty. We want our residents to keep their home for as long as they want – making them more affordable will help as will carrying out adaptations as people age and their circumstances change. We adapt over 200 homes, spending close to £1 million, each year making them suitable so our residents do not have to move. In total we will spend around £70 million in the next five years keeping homes in excellent condition, adapted, warm and affordable. With an annual spend close to £8 million on materials used in building, repairing and maintaining our properties we will be seeking to improve the value we obtain by standardising what we buy and from whom to make sure they are the best quality, most sustainable and where possible make the greatest contribution to the local economy.

Anne Dixon, WWH resident in St Mellons, Cardiff, proudly shows Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, AM, her newly adapted bathroom, thanks to a physical adaptation grant, which will allow Anne and her husband to stay in their own home.

Good quality assets can be used as security to borrow and fund the building of new homes. We have over 3,000 properties currently available to offer as security and several hundred more where the land is leased. We will look to buy the freehold of this land so we are able to make better use of these assets. We have the potential to borrow an additional £150 million to develop a further 2,800 social rented homes in Wales.

Wiser Becky Pierce who lives in the Bala adapted bungalow at Henllan, Denbighshire, with support worker Becky Cumming.

We will continue to help our residents live in homes that best meet their needs – right facilities, affordable and the right size


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Making best use of technology We will give almost 2,500 residents access to free WiFi based broadband. We wish we could do more and as both the technology and telephone/cable infrastructure improves across Wales we will look for ways to expand this service. Getting online is so important to stay in touch, get the best deals and soon will be the primary way to apply for welfare benefits. Technology plays a more important role in how we run our business than ever. Information about residents helps us tailor the delivery of services and tells us how to improve our performance. We will change our technology over the coming couple of years to better support our staff and residents and give us

Smarter We will give almost 2,500 residents access to free WiFi based broadband

the management information we need. A key part of this is ensuring easy access to information by our staff who work remotely in the communities where our properties are located. We want also to understand better how our residents would like to communicate with us and the role social media could have.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt, AM, with Lorraine Morgan at Ty Pontrhun, Merthyr Tydfil. Lorraine has been enjoying IT training at the scheme. Opposite: Anne Winterbottom is delighted with her new IT skills thanks to computer training at Nant y Môr Extra Care scheme in Prestatyn.


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Making a difference in communities Neighbourhoods are best when everyone works together to solve the problems they face. We will expand our redesigned service dealing with anti social behaviour which has been so successful in helping our residents play their part in resolving issues in their communities. Empowering communities in this way is a key component of the sixth and final theme of this business plan. Good lives are ones that are healthy, active and independent. The doctors and hospitals can help us when we’re ill but we all have a responsibility to look after ourselves. We will support public health and social services with their campaigns and initiatives such as those to help stop smoking and maybe one day WWH and all its properties will be smoke free! Staying with the theme of good lives, we are actively pursuing new opportunities as a business and we want our residents do the same. Cambria has been very successful and we hope that Castell Catering will enjoy

similar success. We will use these enterprises, and others, to give our residents opportunities for employment, learning and experience that they can use in their daily lives. Our staff make a difference in communities every day. In line with our operating principles we will empower our staff to do the right thing to deliver what matters, so that residents get their problems solved or queries answered at the first point of contact. We will achieve this by equipping our staff with more skills in debt and money advice, energy efficiency and accessing benefits.

Meleri Jones, Grant Manager with Waite Recycling Environmental Ltd, with Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive, Vy Cochran, Community Development Project Officer, and children at Hightown Intergenerational Play Plant Project.

Together Neighbourhoods are best when everyone works together to solve the problems they face


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Social Responsibility We understand the importance of managing the economic, social and environmental impact of our business in order to create thriving, sustainable communities both now and in the future. 1. 2. 6.

3. 7. 8. 1. 2.

4.

3.

5.

4.

5. 6.

7.

8.

Cambria Maintenance Services staff refit warehouse for Cardiff Foodbank Anne Hinchey and Kathy Smart donating £600 to Ty Hafan Following our rebranding we donated our old­style branded polo shirts to a Ugandan football team Andrew Richards, Commercial Manager (Repairs) helps resident Keith Owen from Buxton Court prepare the ground for their new communal gardens. Our staff charity team presented a cheque for £26,500 to Help for Heroes Anne Hinchey presents Tom Griffiths and Kyle Offer of Cardiff’s Roman Villains with their new branded kit Diane Barnes, Verity Kimpton and Anne Hinchey jumped from 13,000 feet over Swansea airfield, raising more than £10,000 for Stroke Association Wales We helped Canton Rangers U14s purchase new branded rain jackets

The motivation for us in everything we do is to achieve strong sustainable growth to make a difference to people’s lives, homes and communities, and we want the difference we make to be both real and practical. From community engagement programmes to clean­up initiatives, we place great emphasis on caring for the community and the environment through our Make it Happen Grant and Environment Fund. And now in its sixth year, our Making a Difference Awards are our way of recognising and rewarding the strength, selflessness and community spirit of so many of our residents. Each year our Board sets aside a substantial sum to donate to a housing related charity within Wales, such as Prime Cymru, Clubs for Young People Wales and Crossroads Care Wales, as well as supplementing staff charitable activity by match funding the yearly total. As we have already said, making a difference does not

happen by accident, it is achieved through the dedication and hard work of our staff. Over the past five years, staff have raised in excess of £75,000 for charities including Alzheimer’s Society, Help for Heroes and Stroke Association Wales. We are also proud to provide all staff with the opportunity of a day’s paid leave each year to use their time, skills and energy to benefit others and make contributions to our residents’ communities outside of their usual day­to­day roles. We understand that in the current economic climate even small sums of money can make a huge difference to local communities and we support a number of local initiatives, including Roman Villains FC and Canton Rangers FC U14s, based in Cardiff, Rhydycar Bowling Club in Merthyr and Merthyr Town Football Club, Gwent Chiefs Rugby League in Rhymney, St Christopher’s School cricket team in Wrexham and various foodbanks across Wales.


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Where we operate

Number of homes in development by LA area

General Needs

251 Rerement Rerement

12

204 General Needs

Denbighshire

24

General Needs

600

Extra Care

Home Ownership

36

58

Supported

Conwy

28

58

34

Flintshire

189

Rerement

137 Wrexham Flintshire

197

Supported

19

Conwy Denbighshire Wrexham

General Needs

694 Supported

32 Rerement

23

88

158

Supported

Home Rerement Ownership

49

Total Total Stock

General Needs

632

Home Ownership

9,354

Powys

647

4 Rerement Home Ownership

149

Rerement

1

245

228

Powys

71

Home Ownership

2

Merthyr Tydfil

Supported

50

5

General Needs

General Needs

93

dfil r Ty rthy Me

64

Rhondda Cynon Taf Bridgend

General Needs

65

General Needs

Swansea

Home Ownership

Rerement

106 Home Ownership

Caerphilly

31

Cardiff

31

959

Supported

Vale of Glamorgan

General Needs

31

Supported

26 Rerement

Home Ownership

164

599

General Needs

243

305

68

Home Ownership

Home Ownership

26

Cardiff Bridgend

Rerement

20

General Needs

712 2,052

Rerement

128

These figures represent developments which are on site now and programmed to commence in the next 12 months.


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How we run our organisation We’ve made excellent progress in achieving our vision of strong, sustainable growth to make a difference. We have built more homes, created more jobs and now provide a wider range of services than we did just 12 months ago. We are a strong organisation that knows what it stands for and what it wants to achieve. This plan sets our future direction and this section says more about why we are so confident. We are getting better at understanding how we can measure what matters to our

Our values really mean something to us and our behaviour as a company reflects this. We are proud of our social purpose and the contribution we make in Wales and take our role as one of the major housing providers very seriously. We live our values and the actions mentioned in this plan demonstrate, in particular, our focus on efficiency, our openness to change and our support for our residents in what continues to be difficult times.

We will do the right thing to deliver what matters to customers

Our values Balanced, giving praise where due and constructively critical. Inclusive in our approach, respecting the dignity and individuality of everyone

Our operating principles guide what we do as a business with the emphasis on ‘doing the right thing’ for our residents. Too many companies put profit first whereas we put our residents first, redesigning what we do to deliver what they have told matters most to them. Listening to residents and tailoring service delivery accordingly is what has made us strong and satisfaction levels so high. We don’t get it right everytime but we learn, we improve and we get better.

Operating Principles

Our values

Fair

residents and using this to improve performance. We liaise closely with our strategic partners and our assessment and corporate planning process concentrates on trends in performance over time and knowing what gets in the way of improvement. Finding solutions is best done by the staff responsible for service delivery and ensuring our staff have the skills and support they need is a continuing priority. We are changing the culture; it takes time and our progress is good. Our values and operating principles are the two core foundations that make us the organisation we are and guide us in what we do.

Open

Responsible

Supportive

Open to change, committed to continuous improvement and learning. Transparent, honest and trustworthy

Professional, challenging existing arrangements, taking ownership of issues and using our initiative to see them through to resolution

Easy to deal with, approachable and accessible. Welcoming, caring, listening and responsive

Efficient Make the best use of resources and maximise the impact of our activities

Purpose

We will understand both our purpose and what matters to our customers

Performance

We will understand our performance using both evidence and experience

Problems

We will solve the problems that get in the way of us doing the right thing

People

We will enable and support people to do the right thing


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Wales & West Housing – a growing group With more development and new services we have changed how Wales & West Housing operates. We have created subsidiary companies to help us do all the things we want more effectively than with just the one company. In all we have formed three new companies, wholly owned by Wales & West Housing with very different functions:

Castell Homes Ltd will incorporate a number of divisions focusing on social enterprise, the first being Castell Catering.

Cambria Maintenance Services Established in 2010 Cambria Maintenance Services, with divisions in North and South Wales now undertakes a wide range of housing maintenance work for WWH across North, Mid and South Wales

Castell Catering will provide meals in our extra care schemes and will work with partners to provide training, assisting people into employment.

Enfys Developments engages consultants and contractors and will construct all of our new homes for rent.

Following the expansion of Cambria into North Wales, surplus computer equipment was donated to MIND Cymru, a charity that promotes good mental health and challenges mental health stigma. Phil Parry, Resources Manager, and Nigel Parry, Head of Cambria (North) are pictured with Meaghan McCauley from Flintshire Disability Forum in Mold.

Castell Homes is the second division and will build homes for sale, often alongside the social and intermediate rental properties developed for Wales & West Housing.

Peter Jackson, Head of Cambria (South), and Neal O’Leary, Chair of Cambria Board, are pictured with staff from the South and Mid Wales region.


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Board and Executive information Board of Directors Leadership is critical for any company to achieve its aims and at WWH we have an excellent team in place with the skills and experience to lead the organisation in the coming years. The strength of our Board comes from its diversity – twelve people with collectively hundreds of years’ experience running businesses, providing both public and private services, raising families, supporting charities and social enterprises and acting as passionate advocates of the importance of housing in our communities. Drawn from and elected by residents and shareholders in two distinct processes, our Board members successfully use their skills and knowledge to provide responsible and effective governance of the Group.

Kathy Smart Chair of Board Kathy is a master’s graduate in Entrepreneurship and Business and has a sound understanding of the property development market. Kathy is well known among the business community in South Wales and is a strong advocate for the housing sector. She has been a member of our Board since 2004.

Barrie Scholfield

Ivor Gittens

Barrie worked for many years as a mental health nurse up to his retirement. Barrie was a founder member of a social and community enterprise in Bradford which oversaw the regeneration of three estates consisting of more than 4,500 homes. Barrie, a leaseholder, was elected by residents to the Board in 2013.

Now retired from the Royal Air Force and with a background in electrical engineering, Ivor has been on our Board since 1994 and is the longest standing member. Ivor is involved with a range of organisations including independant monitoring at Parc Prison Bridgend, he is also Chair of Governors at Mount Stuart Primary School, Butetown and a Governor at Ninian Park Primary School in Grangetown.

David Davies Alex Ashton Vice Chair of Board Alex has many years’ experience working with low income families and individuals both from his time with a local authority housing benefits section and from his work as the pastor of a church in Bridgend. MBA qualified and with a sound understanding of finance and social enterprise, Alex has been an active member of our Board since 2005 undertaking many roles.

David, a resident Board member, was elected in 2006. He is active in the sector and has represented tenants on the boards of various organisations. These include the Welsh Tenants Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing and Tenants Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Cymru.

James Rides James, a former fireman and previous Board member. James recently completed his degree in housing policy and also sits on the Tenants Advisory Panel supporting the Wales Regulatory Board. James is a resident Board member elected by residents in 2013.

Emma Del Torto Emma is a solicitor specialising in employment law and is the managing director of her own company based in South Wales. Emma was elected to the Board in 2013 after a year as an independent member of the Probity and Audit Committee of which she is still a member.

John Williams John worked as a manager in the manufacturing sector for most of his career and since retiring has been actively involved in his community in various roles including Vice Chair of the Offa Community Council, on the board of Hightown Communities First and is Chair of Barracksfield Residents’

Association, Wrexham. John was first elected to the Board by fellow residents in 2004 and again in 2009. John is also a member of the Board of Cambria Maintenance Services. Neal O’Leary Neal is a chartered surveyor with an extensive background in property maintenance and management. Neal is Head of Conservation for Cadw prior to which he worked in social housing for 16 years. Neal joined our Board in 2009 and is also currently the Chair of Cambria Maintenance Services. Rachel Fleri Rachel graduated as a marine biologist and worked as a secondary school teacher for several years before leaving to work in pharmaceutical sales. Since 2004 Rachel has run her own security company in Cardiff employing more than 100 people. Rachel joined the Board in 2012 after several years as an independent member of the Probity and Audit Committee, which she now chairs.

Sharon Lee Sharon is a housing professional with 14 years’ experience in both England and Wales as a senior manager. Sharon’s experience is wide ranging from anti social behaviour management, to call centres and public relations. Sharon joined the Board in 2011. Winnie Davies Winnie is a passionate advocate for community and resident engagement. She worked for 7 years for the Audit Commission as a Tenant Inspector and has been an active member of the Vale Housing Federation for many years. Winnie also sits on several Boards and panels including Cardiff and Vale Crossroads Care and the Senate for Older People organised by Age Cymru. Winnie has been on the Board since 2006.


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Executive Directors As with our Board, the strength of our Executive team comes from its diversity. The different skills and experience have brought innovation, ideas and energy to both the direction of the Group and how it is managed. Anne Hinchey Chief Executive A graduate in politics and education as well as holding a professional qualification in housing, Anne started her career as a rent collector in 1985 in Cardiff. With extensive experience in the local authority, voluntary and housing association sectors Anne joined Wales & West Housing in 1999 and became Chief Executive in 2006. Anne sits on several boards including Cambria Maintenance Services, Enfys Developments and Castell Homes. Shayne Hembrow Deputy Chief Executive / Commercial Director Shayne has more than 20 years’ experience in housing and regeneration working in both England and Wales. After seven years in the private sector, Shayne came in to social housing working for Gloucester City Council and then for the Audit Commission managing their housing work in the South West of England. At WWH Shayne is responsible for

support services, development and performance improvement, and sits on the Boards of Community Housing Cymru, Shelter Cymru, Cambria Maintenance Services, Enfys Developments and Castell Homes. Tony Wilson Finance Director Prior to joining WWH in 2002, Tony spent 18 years in senior management positions mainly in FTSE listed blue chip companies, the last of which was Centrica. An economics graduate and chartered accountant with multi­sector experience, Tony has also worked in banking and venture capital. At WWH Tony is responsible for finance, information systems, health and safety, audit and probity. Tony also sits on the SORP Working Party which determines best practice for the housing association movement throughout the UK and is also a board member for Cambria Maintenance Services, Enfys Developments and Castell Homes.

Steve Porter Operations Director A graduate in surveying with a professional qualification in construction, Steve has over 20 years’ experience working in the housing sector in a variety of client and contracting roles. After almost five years at WWH as Head of Property Services Steve was appointed Operations Director in 2012. He is responsible for Housing, Property Services and Cambria Maintenance Services, whilst outside WWH he sits on the Board of Tai Calon Community Housing. He is a Board member for Enfys Developments and Castell Homes.

Achievements and Accreditations We have been recognised by a number of independent organisations for the way in which we work and the services we deliver. Here are some examples. 7th place on The Sunday Times Best Companies Not­For­Profit List 2013 and 3 Star ‘Outstanding’ rating by Best Companies 2013 We are the top rated not­for­profit organisation in Wales, in the top 10 for the whole of the UK, and we retained our coveted 3­star rating for the second year running. Top 30 Employers for Working Families – 2012 We are rated as being one of the top 30 companies in the UK and are the only Welsh housing association to win this award, and only one of two HAs in the whole of the UK to make the top 30. Others in the top 30 include blue chip companies like Deutsche Bank, Dell Corporation, McDonalds and Sainsburys. Investors In People We achieved the highest rating at the assessment undertaken in Spring 2012. Stonewall Cymru – ‘Diversity Champion’ Since 2008 we have been recognised as being committed to equality and diversity on the grounds of sexual orientation. Age Positive – Employer Champion This award recognises that we are committed to equality on the basis of age in all aspects of our business. Green Dragon Award Since 2010 we have achieved the environmental Green Dragon Level 2 Award for both our Cardiff and Flint offices.

Telecare Services Association Our Emergency Alarm service is accredited by the Telecare Services Association (TSA) which, via call monitoring, ensures that our staff provide the highest quality emergency alarm service to our residents and corporate clients. Association of Retirement Housing Managers We are accredited by the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, meaning we provide a high quality service to our older residents. Staff Awards Our staff are also regularly recognised by the housing sector and other awarding bodies for their great work. These include: • We were shortlisted for the Inspirational Colleague category in the 2013 Housing Heroes Awards • National Housing Heroes Awards – shortlisted 2011 and joint winner 2010 • We won the Community Champion Award 2011 from Partnerships and Communities Together (PACT) • In 2011 we were shortlisted for one Chartered Institute of Housing UK Housing Award as well as three CIH Welsh Housing Awards. • Also in 2011 we won Cymorth Cymru’s Promoting Independence 2011 Good Commissioning Award. • We were shortlisted for 2012 CIH UK Housing Award and and have won several TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service Cymru) awards.


32 | The Business Plan 2014 to 2018 | Wales & West Housing

Wales & West Housing | The Business Plan 2014 to 2018 | 33

Financial position Our strong ďŹ nancial position is enabling us to borrow substantial sums of money to ďŹ nance growth of our housing stock, making a dierence to peoples’ lives and providing economic stimulus in their communities. Our eďŹƒcient operations and low cost of ďŹ nance is also contributing to healthy annual surpluses and cash ows which are re­invested into the business. We expect to achieve year on year increases in surpluses even after absorbing the bad debts and additional costs of helping residents to pay what will arise from changes to welfare beneďŹ ts. Over the ďŹ ve year period to 2018 we will re­invest ÂŁ36 million in our current housing stock, keeping them compliant with the Welsh Housing Quality Standard which has already been achieved. This not only includes new kitchens, bathrooms and other replacement assets, but also additional services such as free WiFi for many residents where communal installations are feasible. All of this together with existing contractual loan repayments due will be paid for from our income and by careful management of expenditure. We will be investing ÂŁ139 million over the next ďŹ ve years, building and acquiring more than 1,000 homes, of which around 200 will be under the Housing Finance Grant scheme where the equivalent of Social Housing Grant is received in instalments over 30 years. This means that we will be borrowing a greater amount up­front compared with more traditional grant funded schemes. Whilst grants are conďŹ rmed for most schemes in the ďŹ rst two years of the

plan, the Government’s ability to award grants beyond 2016 is less certain. We will develop using grant whenever available as that will maximise the delivery of aordable rental homes and make the greatest dierence to peoples’ lives and communities. Where grant is not available we will still develop homes and charge rents at a higher level than social rents so that schemes are viable and at least 1,000 units can be delivered over the period of ďŹ ve years. From a planning perspective we have assumed we will receive ÂŁ46m in grant receipts, and will be raising ÂŁ60m of new loans, in addition to existing facilities as at July 2013 and a further ÂŁ25m expected to be raised in the second half of 2013 under the “Welsh Bondâ€? arrangements linked with the Housing Finance Grant scheme. We expect at least 750 of the badly needed homes to be at social housing rents with the remainder being at intermediate or market rent levels. We also intend to build a further 90 homes for market sale through our Castell Homes

subsidiary, further stimulating the economy and delivering proďŹ t which will be reinvested in providing additional homes for rent. The generation of surpluses enables us to build up our reserves though our gearing ratio of borrowings to net worth will still rise from 37% at the end of 2012 to 48% by 2018 due to developments either without grants or with deferred grant receipts. At this level we will remain within the lowest gearing covenant constraint of 50% imposed by two of our lenders and comfortably meet lender interest cover requirements. Whilst there is still much uncertainty around the implementation and eect of Welfare Reform on debt management, our plan prudently allows for a higher level of working capital and additional resources to work with residents. Our strong ďŹ nancial position and prospects mean we are well placed to access the substantial funds we will require for our growth aspirations.

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Wales & West Housing 3 Alexandra Gate, Ffordd Pengam, Tremorfa, CardiďŹ&#x20AC; CF24 2UD. and Unit 2, Acorn Business Park, Aber Road, Flint CH6 5YN. Telephone on 0800 052 2526 Email: contactus@wwha.co.uk Website: www.wwha.co.uk @wwha wwhahomesforwales

Published September 2013

Business Plan 2014 - 2018  

Wales & West Housing's five-year Business Plan