Plymouth Community Homes

Annual Report

2016

Forward looking and on the move, ensuring investment in the right housing to the right standard in the right place at the right cost

Here at Plymouth Community Homes it’s important that we have high quality accommodation that delivers good value for money for both customers and for the organisation.

To achieve this, we said in our business plan that we would:

  • Make our homes and business environmentally sustainable by installing energy saving measures in residents’ homes and changing the way we run our business to improve our environmental performance.
  • Develop more homes and improve our existing stock so that we increase the number of homes we have for rent and shared ownership as well as keeping the existing homes in a good condition following the programme to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
  • Improve the appearance and safety of our neighbourhoods by changing the look and feel of the areas surrounding our homes as well as implementing new ways to deal with anti-social behaviour and working with partners to prevent crime.


Click here to read our Value for Money Statement

Our Performance

Key facts and figures for 2015/2016


What we have done

During 2015/16 we:

  • Completed a grant-funded external wall insulation programme removing £30million from our business plan which can be spent on other projects.
  • Further reduced the amount of time it takes to re-let empty properties meaning that new residents move in quicker and the amount of rental income we lose is much less.
  • Got planning permission for 72 new homes to be built to the Passivhaus standard which represents the highest possible energy efficiency for buildings.
  • Delivered 70 new homes for affordable rent or shared ownership, and set out further plans to build more homes in the coming years.
  • Concluded our “Ernemetal” regeneration project which saw major improvements to the shopping parade in Ernesettle. Children from the local school designed decorative railings and wall panels which were then manufactured by our own Metal Fabrication unit.
  • Developed neighbourhood plans for five of our localities in conjunction with local residents with the aim of improving the appearance and safety of the areas.
  • Spent £9.5million on responsive repairs out of a budget of £11.3million.



During 2016/17 we plan to:

  • Start a programme to refurbish the communal parts in our blocks of flats in order to improve the areas surrounding our homes.
  • Continue with our new-build programme in North Prospect and start on new sites across the city.
  • Discuss neighbourhood plans with residents so we ensure they meet the needs of the community.
  • Further strengthen our anti-social behaviour service following the review and recommendations made by our Resident Scrutiny Team

"Our impact on the environment is significant and to reduce that impact, we work with residents and staff to implement practical solutions to make us a greener organisation and reduce costs where possible."
Create places where people want to live and have the opportunity to contribute to their community

Supporting communities to prosper is a key part of the service we provide as a landlord, and we do this in a range of ways.

To achieve this, we said in our business plan that we would:

  • Transform our customer experience so that it is easier to get hold of the right person when contacting PCH and that enquiries are dealt with swiftly.
  • Work with residents and other agencies to help our communities thrive by providing support for welfare reform, being a strong voice on behalf of customers on matters relating to housing and by helping residents to access community-based services.
  • Work in partnership with other organisations to reduce worklessness and contribute to the city’s growth agenda. We are a major business in Plymouth and seek to use local suppliers where possible so we can invest in our own communities and support the local economy.


Click here to read our Value for Money Statement

Our Performance

Key facts and figures for 2015/2016


What we have done

During 2015/16 we:

  • Continued to improve the way to handle customer enquiries by directing more telephone calls into our contact centre. As a result, 75% of enquiries are now being dealt with at the time the customer calls us.
  • Achieved TPAS Landlord Accreditation in Resident Involvement which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that residents are at the heart of everything we do.
  • Reduced the amount of rent arrears by £126,000 taking the overall percentage outstanding for payment down to just 1.47% out of over £57million owed during the year – this is our lowest ever figure.
  • Supported local businesses by spending £22million in the Plymouth postcode area, which is 57% of the total amount we spent during the year.
  • Developed the Kier Academy in North Prospect in partnership with Kier Living. This project delivers a programme of construction skills and training for PCH tenants, and saw 43 tenants complete the initial course.
  • Worked in partnership with Plymouth City Council and Learn Direct to support job clubs around the city where unemployed people can access support for job searching, CV writing and interview preparation.



During 2016/17 we plan to:

  • Start working towards achieving the Customer Excellence Standard to demonstrate our commitment to outstanding customer service.
  • Continue with our support for residents affected by changes to welfare benefits so that they can sustain their tenancies.
  • Further roll out our “menu of involvement” so that residents’ views are at the heart of decision making.
  • Work with other organisations across Plymouth to help support economic growth, particularly in relation to housebuilding and job creation.

"We are a customer focussed organisation and we value the choice that people make to do business with us."
Make the best use of our assets in driving an effective business, meeting residents’ expectations and embracing change

A strong and effective business is essential for delivering excellent quality services and in our business plan we said we would:

  • Ensure our business is strong and financially secure and our governance arrangements provide the highest levels of assurance. This is achieved through robust leadership from our Board and Executive Management Team.
  • Become more enterprising and invest surpluses in our communities through commercial activities such as PCH Manufacturing, our solar energy and letting out shop units.
  • Be creative in using opportunities to enhance the wellbeing of our residents and staff.


Click here to read our Value for Money Statement

Our Performance

Key facts and figures for 2015/2016


What we have done

During 2015/16 we:

  • Reviewed all of our budgets following the Government’s announcement that social rents will reduce by 1% every year for four years from April 2016. We achieved this without impacting negatively upon frontline services for residents.
  • Retained our G1 and V2 ratings from our regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency, which represent the highest rating for Governance and the second-highest rating for Financial Viability.
  • Embarked on a major marketing drive for PCH Manufacturing in order to increase sales and generate more income into the business.
  • Started to market and lease surplus office space in our headquarters building Plumer House which will bring money into PCH and reduce our overall running costs.
  • Completed our Nesta-funded partnership “Grow-Share-Cook” which encouraged people to grow and use fresh produce in healthy cooking. We worked with Plymouth City Council and Tamar Grow Local to provide free weekly vegetable bags for 100 residents, healthy cooking on a budget courses and support for developing community gardens or allotments.
  • Opened our Plumer House gym to residents, who can use the facility free of charge. There is a personal trainer on-site during opening hours to help gym-users get the best from their session.



During 2016/17 we plan to:

  • Develop a new set of future plans and strategies so that our organisation can grow and further improve.
  • Let out more office space in our headquarters building, Plumer House, so that we can bring more money into the organisation to invest in services and reduce our own running costs.
  • Increase opportunities for residents to become volunteers for PCH, which will help support the work we do in our communities.
  • Further promote our commercial arm PCH Manufacturing so that we can use any surpluses to support landlord services.

Contact

Plumer House,
Tailyour Road,
Crownhill,
Plymouth,
PL6 5DH
Send us an email
0808 230 6500