Highest financial health check result for PCH

Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) has been judged as having the highest possible financial rating by the Regulator for Social Housing.

In its judgement published today, the Regulator upgraded PCH from its previous V2 financial viability rating to V1 – the highest score it can award.

The judgement stated: “The provider has an adequately funded business plan, sufficient security in place, and is forecast to continue to meet its financial covenants under a wide range of adverse scenarios.”

In response to the announcement, Chief Executive for PCH, John Clark, said: “We’re extremely pleased that our improved financial position has been recognised by the Regulator. We have worked continuously over the years to retain our social values whilst being more commercial in our business activities. This has enabled us to reduce costs, generate income and improve our overall financial position through refinancing, allowing us to invest more in our homes and neighbourhoods across Plymouth. This couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work, commitment and innovation of our staff team and the leadership and effective decision-making of our Board of Directors.”

In explaining the improved grading, the regulator said: “PCH’s latest plans reflect further strengthening of its financial position, due in part to a major refinancing exercise which has taken place during the last financial year. As a result, PCH’s plans are now less reliant upon sales receipts and demonstrate greater financial capacity to manage risks.”

PCH’s Director for Business Services and Development, Nick Jackson, gave his reaction to the judgement, saying: “Despite the challenging financial climate we have faced as an organisation and sector throughout the period of rent cuts, the measures we have put into place mean we have been able to secure a stable financial position to take us forward to achieve our ambitions.

“We carried out a major refinancing exercise to lower our costs of finance and secure capital to invest in development in Plymouth and the surrounding areas, whilst continuing to successfully regenerate North Prospect and invest in our existing stock. And none of this comes at the expense of our customer satisfaction standards, which remain excellent.”

The upgraded financial rating means that PCH is now judged as having the highest possible viability and governance standards – V1 and G1.

Mr Clark summed up by saying: We see this latest judgement as public confirmation of our position as a leading, growing, independent housing association with strong ambitions to build new homes and improve existing ones, and this improved rating will enable us to go further and faster with this ambition. Whilst we are commercial and make good business decisions, we remain true to our social purpose - we are committed to providing homes and services that people want and can afford.”