Annual Report 2017

Last year was a significant one for WDH.

We celebrated 12 years in business and made substantial progress towards our ambition to become a digital business.

Improvements to our online services, including the launch of our mobile App, have led to more and more tenants interacting with us digitally. Almost 30% of all interactions with us now take place online. Over 5,500 tenants now access their online account regularly, an increase of almost 2,000 over the last year.

Our efforts to become a digital business will continue into the coming year with significant investment in technologies that will both streamline our business and improve the customer experience.

More than a landlord

Teams across WDH have been recognised for their outstanding commitment. We received a number of awards and accreditations including national wins at the UK Housing Awards, the Resolve Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) Awards and multiple awards for our commitment to gas safety. Cash Wise was reaccredited by Business in the Community and supported its 2,000th participant, and we were reaccredited by Tpas (tenant engagement experts) for the fourth time over 12 years.

We have continued to build and strengthen our partnerships across the district to deliver services that benefit the region. Our joint venture, Bridge Homes, has had another successful year, selling all properties at its first development, at St Swithins, Wakefield and beginning work at its second site, ThornesGate, Wakefield.

Our partnership work with Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) continues to deliver successful outcomes and we will be expanding our wellbeing services across our independent living schemes this year.

As we look forward, we will continue to invest more broadly within our defined area of economic activity, developing new homes for rent and sale, and providing more and better services.

Tenant priorities

We strive to continually improve our services by making sure our work mirrors tenants' priorities.

These priorities are chosen following extensive consultation and engagement, along with feedback from our Tenant Survey. Priorities chosen to focus on last year were:

  • People standing in a row with a birthday cake Keeping promises
    and commitments
  • Woman and child eating lollipops Being easier
    to deal with
  • Repair operative at work Improving the
    repairs experience
  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards The way we manage nuisance
    and antisocial behaviour

Among the actions already undertaken, we have:

  • Introduced an Institute of Customer Service qualification for frontline employees and all managers have attended Customer Service Leadership training.
  • Launched the WDH App to enable customers to self serve digitally.
  • Developed a mobile responsive Homesearch website.
  • Introduced text messages to customers with repairs information.
  • Empowered front line employees to provide first time resolutions.
  • Worked closely with West Yorkshire Police and other partners to address issues of nuisance and antisocial behaviour, ensuring tenants are kept up to date.

92% Satisfaction with our services

91% Satisfaction with repairs and maintenance service

91% Satisfaction with the overall quality of their home

85% Satisfaction with rents representing good value for money

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:

  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards Corporate
  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards Community
  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards Customer
  • Tenants reading WDH Customer Charter Standards Commercial

Our key financial achievements are:

  • Last year we secured £5.1 million cashable efficiencies against our business plan, which have been reinvested to achieve positive social outcomes, including providing more new homes and helping people into work. We plan to generate further cashable efficiency savings of at least £750,000 in the coming year.
  • Our ability to generate year on year efficiencies is confirmed by HouseMark benchmarking. Our overheads amount to just 7.48% of turnover compared to last year’s 7.66%.
  • Last year it cost an average of £311 to maintain each of our 31,000 properties.
  • We spent more than £36.4 million directly and indirectly with local businesses last year, helping to support, grow and sustain the local economy.
  • This year our regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency, has again awarded us the highest ratings in governance and financial viability as a result of our work to demonstrate how we provide value for money services.

Spend in 2016 / 2017

  • Major improvement works
  • Housing management costs
  • Community Safety
  • Repair costs
  • New build
  • Environmental
  • Services
  • Social investment
  • Cost sharing
  • Commercial incl (Lettings)
  • Other operating costs

1629 Homes built or acquired since 2006

980 Community engagement events held last year

£36.4m Spent with local businesses last year

The future

Tenant priorities 2016 / 2017

Our latest survey results have identified the following themes as the main areas for improvement which we will work on this year:

  • Keeping promises
    and commitments
  • The way in which WDH
    deals with repairs
  • being easy to
    deal with; and
  • dealing with nuisance
    and antisocial behaviour.

Future challenges

2017 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 in line with our revised 2020 Business Strategy:

By March 2018

  • Support transition to new ways of working.
  • Develop proposals for large scale regeneration schemes.
  • Develop partner relationships with land suppliers and developers.
  • Extend employment experience and opportunities through partnerships.
  • Support tenants to respond to the impact of further welfare reforms.
  • Manage the transition to new technologies and new ways of working.
  • Define our approach to digital customer services.

90% Satisfaction of tenants with their neighbourhood

554 People helped by our Wellbeing Caseworkers

328 People helped into employment.