2024 New Year message from our Chief Executive
A new year message from our Group Chief Executive, Jacqui De-Rose.
As we look ahead to our priorities in 2024, I’d like to share with you some of our key achievements over the last year.
As a social housing provider, our values remain the same, but our vision has been refreshed to reflect what we do and why we do it.
We believe a home should be a place to feel safe, to be ourselves, to be independent and a place to grow. We never underestimate the positive impact and the opportunities that can bring.
During 2023, we identified four key priorities, clean, green, safe, and connected, which are important in shaping our approach to supporting happy and thriving communities. We have listened to our tenants, customers, colleagues, and partners and started delivering on these priorities through various community-centred projects, from refurbishing community green spaces and organising community skip days to investing in a new community centre in the heart of one of our communities.
Reflecting on our activity over the past 12 months, we have responded to several sector-wide challenges, from damp and mould, inspecting for Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in our homes to supporting our tenants with the rising cost of living. We have ensured our tenants and customers have been reassured and feel supported and will continue to do so.
We are continuing to work towards our five-year development strategy with a goal to build a minimum of 1,000 homes by March 2024 and are on course to achieve this.
This year, we have also started groundwork on our first Extra Care scheme in Lancaster, providing 92 affordable homes for people aged 55 and over with care needs. It will feature a roof terrace, games room, laundry, hairdresser, and communal areas designed to be ‘sensitive to dementia.’
We launched our tenant support wellbeing service, offering free 24-hour support to tenants, including telephone counselling and practical advice. We were the first social housing provider in the North West to offer this service. This year, we have also set up a Tenancy Sustainability Team to help new tenants settle into their homes financially and emotionally and support our existing tenants to help them maintain their tenancies.
We have established key partnerships that will enable us to shape and enhance our services. Joining with Cumbria and Lancashire Housing Consortiums, we were awarded funding to support our work in tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions.
Our environmental strategy and net carbon zero roadmap set out our plans to help the climate crisis and continue to ensure that our tenants and customers have affordable, safe, warm, and environmentally sustainable homes.
We have also carried out social value work, with help from our partners and stakeholders, to make a difference within our communities, from community clean-up days, supporting foodbanks, sponsoring the Typhoons’ inclusive rugby club, and refurbishing community centres and communal gardens.
We have continued to be one of the UK’s leading providers of supported living for people with a learning disability and autistic people. With over 4,000 tenancies, we work closely with support providers and commissioners to enable people with support needs to make positive choices about their lives.
My heartfelt thanks to all our stakeholders, partners, funders, volunteers and colleagues for their commitment and support over the year. Our dedication to the wellbeing of our tenants remains a constant thread through all our work, and we look forward to a happy, safe and healthy 2024.
Chief Executive of Progress Housing Group