Annual Report 2019

It is with great pride that I take up the position of Chief Executive this year following Kevin Dodd's retirement.

I have been a Director at WDH for the last year and a great supporter of WDH for more than a decade so have seen many great achievements over the years.

This year has not disappointed with the organisation going from strength to strength under the leadership of Kevin Dodd and we continued to deliver on the promises made to our tenants, our Board and our stakeholders across the district.

Over the last year we experienced the impact of Universal Credit (UC) full service and supported over 1,800 people through our Cash Wise service, and this continues to rise as we move into next year.

We continued to build on our relationships with partners, including the NHS by introducing new, hospital based, roles and innovative technical solutions in our independent living schemes (ILSs).

We set a new record for the number of people getting on the property ladder through our shared ownership scheme and this has only been possible as a result of our continued commitment to building and acquiring properties both inside and outside of the Wakefield district.

As we take the business forward into 2019 / 2020 we will build on our already strong foundations and continue to deliver the high standards and quality services that people have come to expect. I am excited to lead us on this journey.

Andrew Wallhead
Chief Executive

More than a landlord

We are committed to building confident communities and teams across the business have contributed to this in a broad range of ways over the past year.

Over the last year, we have built on our partner relationships with other key organisations across the district.

Our relationship with Wakefield CCG and Age UK was strengthened as we expanded the Care Link Responder service to provide a 24/7 response and a wraparound service to patients leaving hospital. Care Link has provided peace of mind to over 15,000 customers and our Mental Health Navigators, which are jointly funded between WDH and the Clinical Commissioning Group, have supported 330 WDH tenants.

Our joint venture, Bridge Homes, has had another successful year, completing its first two developments at St Swithins and ThornesGate, and will begin developing its third site at Calder Fields in 2019.

Over the coming year we will continue to invest in developing the properties, services and support that is needed by our customers across the district and beyond.

Tenant priorities

We continually make improvements to our customer experience by listening to what our customers have to say. Every year, a tenant satisfaction survey is carried out by external agency TLF Research.

During 2018 / 2019 our satisfaction score remained in the top quartile when measured against other organisations at 92%.

We use the feedback provided by tenants in response to the survey to identify our key priorities for improvements. The table below highlights what tenants said and the improvements we have made.

You said...

  • People standing in a row with a birthday cake Tenants value us keeping our promises and commitments.
  • Woman and child eating lollipops Tenants want us to be
    easier to deal with.
  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards Tenants want us to improve the way we manage nuisance and ASB.

We did...

Ensured that customer service leadership is embedded in all our employees by providing tools and training.

Reviewed our Customer Charter in line with our tenants’ expectations.

Investigated reasons for service failures and identified trends in customer contact.

Reviewed the user interface of the digital repairs process.

Explored options for launching a webchat function.

Introduced a ‘sole focus’ voids team to improve the customer experience and ultimately reduce the number of repairs reported by new tenants.

Explored options for journey mapping the customer experience when reporting nuisance or ASB.

Developed automated messages to keep customers updated when they report nuisance or ASB using an online method.

Introduced a noise nuisance app.

We demonstrate our commitment to our environment and our local communities in all that we do. See more examples of how we achieve this in our Corporate Responsibility Statement

92% Satisfaction with our services
89% Satisfaction with repairs and maintenance service
89% Satisfaction with the overall quality of their home

Value for money

We aim to deliver VFM for all stakeholders by continually improving our performance, scrutinising the value created and the benefits delivered against our strategic objectives.

We consider VFM from four key perspectives:

  • WDH office staff on phone Corporate
  • WDH celebrating 2000th house Community
  • WDH staff showing customer how to use touch screen Customer
  • WDH staff working on a new build house Commercial

Our key financial achievements are:

  • Last year we secured £459,000 of cashable efficiencies savings against our business plan, which have been reinvested to achieve positive social outcomes, including providing more new homes and helping people into work.
  • Our ability to generate year on year efficiencies is confirmed by HouseMark benchmarking. Our overheads amount to just 7.26% of turnover compared to last year’s 7.15%.
  • Last year it cost an average of £354 to maintain each of our 31,000 properties.
  • We spent more than £27 million directly and indirectly with local businesses last year, helping to support, grow and sustain the local economy.

Spend in 2018 / 2019

  • Housing management costs
    £41,540,000
  • New build homes
    £30,506,000
  • Major improvement works
    £29,751,000
  • Depreciation
    £24,933,000
  • Day to day repairs costs
    £20,088,000
  • ILS and service costs
    £4,823,000
  • bad debts
    £1,320,000
  • Total
    £103,122,000

402 Homes built or acquired last year

£27m Spent with local businesses last year

The future

Tenant priorities 2019 / 2020

Our latest survey results identified the following three themes as the main drivers of dissatisfaction among tenants:

  • Keeping promises and commitments
  • Being easier to deal with
  • The way we manage nuisance and antisocial behaviour (ASB)

These themes will be used to form our tenants' priorities for the coming year.

Future challenges

2019 marks the start of a new journey as we look towards achieving our next milestone - becoming an enterprise delivering social impacts.

Below are the challenges we will work towards alongside our tenant priorities for the coming year.

By March 2020

  • Provide a flexible workforce with skills for the future.
  • Create opportunities to recruit and develop a skilled, agile and resilient workforce.
  • Increase stock through corporate acquisition.
  • Provide a range of mixed tenure property where people want to live.
  • Maximise potential for supporting tenants to live independently through targeted support.
  • Ensure assistive technologies are both technically and financially sustainable.
  • Maximise the take up of digital services.
  • Implement a comprehensive digital active asset management solution.

85% Satisfaction of tenants with their neighbourhood

330 People supported by our Mental Health Navigators

229 People helped into employment.