Chairman & Chief Executive’s
Foreword

In a year with many highlights we secured a creditable A1 Rating with Moody’s, pursued our first Private Placement Bond Issue, and launched our new Corporate Strategy.

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The new Corporate Strategy addresses the changes in the housing sector and how the Group plans to respond to them. Our vision of developing ‘A business with social objectives’ is anchored upon the mission ‘Building upon our foundations, delivering our future.’  With this context we have identified five challenges for the Group:

  1. Valuing our history, developing our brand and enhancing our reputation.
  2. Providing quality homes.
  3. Offering sustainable tenures.
  4. Building without public subsidy.
  5. Delivering value.

Our ability to deal with these challenges will determine whether the Group will be as successful in the future, as it has been in the past.

Welfare Reform continues to present challenges, but we are yet to see a material impact upon the Group’s finances.  The introduction of Universal Credit will be the litmus test of the new arrangements, but no firm date is on the horizon for this.

Part of our strategy to minimise the impact of Welfare Reform upon our customers is to assist as many as possible with gaining employment.  I am pleased to report that since establishing Southern Works, just over two years ago, this year we passed the milestone of helping our 250th resident into work.  This important area of work remains a priority for the Group.

Finally, we welcomed one new Group Board member, Maureen Corcoran. Maureen joins the Board as Chair of the Customer Service Committee, having previously been an independent member of the Committee.

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Malcolm Groves - Chairman

Malcolm Groves
Chairman

Tom Dacey Chief Executive

Tom Dacey
Group Chief Executive

Business

We raised £175m on the bond market.

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We saved 35% on legal fees since bringing our legal counsel in house.

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We launched our new Corporate Strategy with 5 challenges and responses.

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We welcomed 1 new Chairman, Malcolm Groves.

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We completed 58,890 repairs jobs, from fixing broken taps to tackling mould and condensation.

We welcomed 1 new Board member, Maureen Corcoran.

We were awarded an A1 rating from credit agency Moody’s.

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We produced 3 issues of our resident’s magazine,
Open Door.

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We invested £21,000 in the Lend a Laptop programme, which makes laptops available to residents.

We reduced the number of external contractors on our estates from over 150 to 25.

3 of our registered care services on the Isle of Wight met all the standards assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for health and social care.

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We donated £2,750 to our corporate charity, Agrovivienda.

800 people attended a work fair on the Isle of Wight where our Social Economic Regeneration Department (SERD) and Care and Supporting Independence (CASI) Team talked about working here.

We produced and uploaded 18 new videos to our website.

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We made 9% savings on print after appointing a single supplier for the whole business.

Our procurement team worked on 74 contracts, worth a total of £31m, making savings of £1.88m over the life of the contracts.

Our staff undertook 16,017 hours of training to learn, develop and improve the service we offer to customers.

We celebrated 1,046 years of service from those colleagues recognised at our long service awards.

We secured £273,000 of external funding for staff to undertake NVQ training and qualifications.

Places

We purchased 411 homes and disposed of 230 as part of our stock rationalisation programme.

We purchased sites for 740 new homes in Bromley-by-Bow.

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We invested £100,000 to improve community facilities at Charterhouse Road in London.

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We celebrated our £1m investment in the redevelopment of Caledonian Park at the Parkside Place launch.

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We completed the construction of 40 homes at Vega in Brighton.

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We opened 40 new affordable homes in Dover at our scheme Maison Dieu.

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We won BRE’s award for the housing association that has developed and constructed the highest number of social homes, with a total of 1,076 homes certified at post construction.

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We received 5 awards for our development programme.

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256 new units were completed/handed over at Barking, Reading and Horsham.

We started our 1st Passivhaus scheme on the Isle of Wight.

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The first 214 homes for rent and sale from Triathlon Homes at East Village were handed over by the Olympic Delivery Authority.

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We took our 1st reservation through Help to Buy at Bennett Court, West Sussex, after our sales arm, Southern Space was Help to Buy approved.

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People

We supported our 250th resident into work through our employment and training advice service Southern Works.

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We helped 139 residents into work through our Southern Works programme.

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We helped 179 residents to access training, volunteering and work placements this year through our Southern Works programme.

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51 young people registered with our peer-to-peer programme in Hackney.

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We recognised 6 individuals and groups at our resident awards.

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100 residents attended our Sports Challenge day.

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We helped 13 residents get their Level 2 Food Safety Accreditation.

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36 digital champions, 13 digital mentors, 23 corporate volunteers and 5 internal staff gave 985 hours of their time to help residents to get online.

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We awarded 129 small grants to our communities totalling £120,000.

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444 learners received one to one training and support in 2,664 hours of training through our Digital Inclusion programme.

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100 customers took part in our Care and Supporting Independence (CASI) Team supported involvement day.

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938 people took part in our consultation about how they use the internet and what they want from us online.

70 residents took part in our community engagement event at Beveridge Mews, London.

12,583 residents got involved in shaping our services through our resident involvement programme.

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We held 4 mutual exchange events.

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10 young residents were awarded a total of £15,000 through the Bright Ideas fund.

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We secured £55,000 in discretionary housing payments for our residents on the Isle of Wight.

68% of our affordable rent tenants are full time working households, part of our commitment to creating sustainable tenancies.

Welfare Reform

Bedroom tax

  • At the end of March 2014 we were aware of 1,409 residents affected by bedroom tax, representing 8% of our general needs households.
  • There was an increase in payment rates from 55% of residents affected by the bedroom tax paying their shortfall in May 2013 to 81% in March 2014.
  • Applications for mutual exchange by under-occupiers made up 10% of the total number of applications over the year.

Benefit cap

  • 40 households were affected by the benefit cap over the year.
  • The average weekly shortfall of those affected by the benefit cap is £53.41.
  • By March 2014, 57% of residents were paying or part paying their shortfall and a further 29% were paying with help from Discretionary Housing Payments.

Financials

SHG Financials

Group Strategy Team

tom-dacey1

Tom Dacey
Chief Executive
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Rosemary Farrar

Rosemary Farrar
Finance Director
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Dale Meredith

Dale Meredith
Development Director
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Kate Nelson

Kate Nelson
Corporate Services Director
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Paul Smith

Paul Smith
Operations Director
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Group Board

Malcolm Groves

Malcolm Groves (Chair)
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Justin Chittock

Justin Chittock
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Maureen Corcoran

Maureen Corcoran
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Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson
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Tim Richards

Tim Richards
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