Skip to main content

TCHG | Corporate Plan 2021-2024

Matt Cooney

CEO'S STATEMENT

I joined TCHG in September 2020 in what turned out to be a lull in the Coronavirus pandemic. I quickly found that TCHG is what it says on the tin, i.e. it is about the 'community'. I learned quickly that the organisation is extremely locally focussed and has always pursued an ambition to be more than just a housing provider. We take an interest in the community and the experience of local people in our neighbourhoods.

We are not perfect, and we have a lot to learn. Indeed, this plan is all about re-shaping things to make sure that we improve our services to help local people genuinely live better lives. To do that, we need to become a stronger business that is as financially robust as we can make it. If we can achieve strong viability as a business, we will have a good platform to continue our quest of building thriving communities into the future.

Matt Cooney - Group Chief Executive


Andrew Foster

CHAIR'S STATEMENT

This new Corporate Plan 2021-24, sets out an exciting vision of the development of The Community Housing Group. We have much to be proud of in terms of what we have delivered in the past to our residents, customers and local communities, but also know that we must do more and provide effective support and well delivered services to all of our customers. We know that they need that more than ever as we start to emerge from a difficult pandemic into what will be a challenging period of national rebuilding and recovery.

This plan has been developed from an extensive consultation process with customers, staff and key stakeholders and the Board is therefore confident that it focusses on the areas that matter most to them.

Our plan will deliver a simplified and streamlined business, so we can focus more of our time and resources on front line service delivery for the benefit of our customers. It also focusses on improving our efficiency as a business and enabling us to deliver much needed affordable homes, whilst also ensuring we are investing in improving our stock, so we can meet the zero carbon challenge. We will also make changes to our governance so we are listening more to, and learning more from, our customers and making decisions shaped by their insights.

The Board is confident that this plan will enable us to be fit for the future, with a renewed focus on being an excellent landlord, focussing its efforts and resources on serving and supporting its residents.

Andrew Foster - Group Chair


WHO WE ARE

The Community Housing Group was formed in 2000 through a stock transfer from Wyre Forest Council. We are a social business and one of Worcestershire’s largest Registered Providers of social housing. The Group provides and manages 6000 homes and is an exempt charity and registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. We mainly operate in the Wyre Forest area and the office headquarters are in Kidderminster.

OUR AMBITION

We are proud of what we have achieved for the people and communities we support over the past 20 years. Over the coming years we want to become a more significant social housebuilder in Worcestershire, focused on helping people to thrive and to live independently, knowing that they have a secure home that they can afford with a landlord who cares about them.


WE'RE BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE

There are three main themes in our 3-year Corporate Plan and ten priorities as follows;

Building Better Lives

MAKING LIFE BETTER FOR OUR CUSTOMERS

We want to make life better for our customers. We will do this by improving services and being more accessible to them. We will also explore new technologies to benefit our customers and make sure that we develop the solutions that our customers need. We will learn more about and forge closer relationships with our customers to ensure that they get the best service possible and receive the help they need.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Making it easier for customers to contact us in a manner that is most convenient to them
  • Reviewing how we engage with them and introduce a new Operations Committee, with customers representatives on it, to review services and make recommendations on service improvement and play a more active role in our governance
  • Improving our complaints process including the introduction of early complaints resolution, learning from the outcomes and sharing performance with customers
  • Improving the measurement of customer satisfaction and maintain an average of 90%.
  • Introducing a new Neighbourhood Co-ordinator role, supported by specialist teams, to be the main contact for tenants for housing related issues and our "eyes and ears" in the community.

DEVELOPING A NEW PEOPLE PLAN

How we work together with our colleagues is important too. We recognise that if our colleagues are not happy, they won’t deliver the best service to customers. We will assess our operating culture and work with colleagues to agree new, flexible ways of working, to balance time working from home with working in an office location.

We recognise that we need to become more inclusive and show that our people truly represent the diversity of the communities and cultures we work with. Equality, diversity and inclusion will be at the top of our agenda.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Developing a new operating culture and ways of working in consultation with our colleagues.
  • Providing customer service and relationship training for all staff to help us deliver a "win-win" approach to how we handle customers and relationships in general.
  • Introducing a new Equality, Diversity & Inclusion strategy including understanding more about our communities and the challenges and disadvantages they face.

OUR ROLE IN SOCIAL REGENERATION

We are proud of our record in delivering employment and training support to local communities and we will continue our welfare to work and community training services. We will also look at the best ways to alleviate hardship in the community.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Linking community employment & training targeted at our tenants through the new neighbourhood coordination model
  • Continuing to support the Worcestershire Fusion Partnership to attract local and National funding to the region for employment and training.
  • Developing a hardship fund for tenants who suffer economic hardship or emergencies.

BUILD A STRONGER BUSINESS

SIMPLIFYING OUR BUSINESS

Continue to develop new homes to help meet demand and make existing homes more comfortable and affordable for our customers to live in. We will streamline our organisation and build financial strength. We will also prioritise our core business rather than focussing on providing services to others.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Consolidating the Group under one brand that represents the full variety of services we deliver.
  • Carrying out an independent review of our governance to ensure we meet the highest possible standards.

FINANCIAL STRENGTH AND VALUE FOR MONEY

Since 2000, we have contributed towards the local economy by providing employment and training. In future, as we prioritise investment in new homes, we will have less direct employment and contracting with third parties but will create partnerships that will lead to employment and training opportunities with local companies. We will also manage our business with a strong commercial discipline.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Introducing a simple set of Golden Rules to help us make the right business decisions
  • Developing a Business Recipe to guide managers in developing new business ventures.
  • Refinancing our loan portfolio to reduce interest paid
  • Reducing overheads to increase surplus for development
  • Producing a Value for Money plan to generate cash savings and efficiencies
  • Publishing an annual Environmental, Social and Governance report to demonstrate that we are an ethical company that invests in local communities, meets societal needs and delivers strong environmental outturns.

FOCUSSING ON OUR CORE BUSINESS

We recognise that providing contracts to other organisations can distract us from our own core business. We will reduce non social housing activity and concentrate on our core business going forward.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Exiting all 3rd party contracts when they expire (except amica24)
  • Exploring training and employment opportunities with partner organisations and contractors to replace those previously provided directly by us.
  • Developing closer working relationships between Care & Support24 and amica24 to deliver seamless Independent Living services
  • Looking at further opportunities to provide extra care schemes and support wider housing needs through our existing sheltered/Independent Living schemes
  • Only competing for local telecare & Technology Enabled Care contracts.

BUILD THRIVING COMMUNITIES

BUILDING NEW HOMES

We see our role as a housing provider as our primary responsibility and we believe we have a moral responsibility to prioritise the development of new homes for people in housing need. We will therefore manage our finances to enable us to do this for the longer term.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Maximising opportunities for strategic partnerships with constructors, development consortiums and other housing providers
  • Developing 1100 new homes within 10 years – 294 by March 2025
  • Providing 60% of new homes at affordable rent, 30% shared ownership, 10% for outright sale
  • Where necessary, disposing of homes no longer viable (in terms of demand and maintenance).

ESTATE REGENERATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT

We believe that with careful thought and engagement of tenants, it is possible to improve the appearance of the physical environment in some of our estates as well as adding new homes.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Undertaking a regeneration feasibility study to look at how we can improve estates and our priorities will be Hurcott Road high rise flats, Foley Park, The Walshes (Radburn area) and Borrington Road flats.

AGREEING A NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN

Looking after the environment and doing our bit for the national ambition of net zero carbon will also come to the top of our ’To Do List’. Initially, we will concentrate on the energy performance of homes.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Conducting an energy efficiency assessment of stock to develop an improvement programme for poor energy efficient homes
  • Develop our plan to meet national Net Zero targets.

REVIEWING OUR ASSET MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

The tragic events of the Grenfell fire in 2017 have resulted in a change in building safety compliance expectations of Social Housing Providers. There is a greater regulatory interest and new and amended legislation placing more obligations on landlords. Compliance expectations have been reinforced through the Charter for Social Housing Residents (white paper) and the Sector Risk Profile. Building Safety Compliance will be at the very top of our agenda. We will develop our solutions in full partnership with.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Developing a new Asset Management and Building Safety strategy to keep our tenants and our colleagues safe.
  • Defining our safety culture in the organisation that includes a high degree of transparency and information sharing with tenants
  • Developing ways to involve tenants in the oversight and monitoring performance of building safety activities/programmes.

ENHANCING BUILDING SAFETY FOR CUSTOMERS AND STAFF

A change in building safety compliance expectations across the social housing sector has resulted in more obligations being placed on landlords. Compliance expectations have been reinforced through the Charter for Social Housing Residents and the Sector Risk Profile. Building Safety Compliance will be at the very top of our agenda. We will develop our solutions in full partnership with tenants.

We will make best use of our stock with new performance standards to identify homes that are “underperforming” and we will also consider a programme to convert existing sheltered housing into extra care or other supported housing. We will review our lettable standard to aid tenancy sustainment to try and give the best start for households on low incomes in their new homes.

WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS BY

  • Developing a new Asset Management and Building Safety strategy to keep our tenants and our colleagues safe by March 2022
  • Defining our safety culture in the organisation that includes a high degree of transparency and information sharing with tenants and involve them in the oversight and monitoring performance of building safety activities/programmes
  • Review our approach to letting new homes to ensure that we give new tenants the best chance of sustaining their tenancy by September 2021
  • Undertake a feasibility study to examine the possibility of converting existing sheltered schemes to extra care, higher quality independent living or other supported housing needs by February 2022
Download a full PDF Version of the Corporate Plan