I am pleased to introduce livin’s 2015/16 Annual Report which outlines our continued progress and key achievements throughout the past year.
2015/16 has presented livin with a number of challenges and opportunities. There have been significant changes happening in our operating environment during this time however livin has worked hard to streamline the business, improve performance in key areas and deliver some excellent outcomes for our tenants and communities.
There has also been a significant focus on developing livin’s 2016-2018 Business Strategy. We will focus on raising the aspirations of our tenants through providing great homes and building and sustaining strong communities. We recognise that providing great homes that people aspire to live in is key to our future success and will ensure the future success and sustainability of our business and our communities. It is also vital that we create the right environment for building a successful business by enabling our employees to flourish, maintaining excellence in governance and providing great customer service.
We recognise that to achieve the ambitions of our new Business Strategy we must fully embed our business values, maintain a continuous focus on value for money and meet the needs and expectations of our customers and communities.
I look to forward to the year ahead, confident that through the delivery of livin’s new Business Strategy we can continue to build on our successes and provide the excellent services that our tenants expect.
Ian Youll - Chair of the Board
Welcome to our annual report and review of 2015/16. The business environment in which livin operates is changing faster and more significantly than ever before. This has been heightened through a change in Government and a significant upheaval of policies. This has resulted in an increased focus on efficiency and effectiveness and a need to become more competitive and productive whilst focusing on the needs of customers. We must also become ‘better connected’ as a business to focus on the delivery of key priorities to ensure livin is sufficiently agile to adapt and grow to meet the changing needs of customers.
Reshaping our business and services for the future has been a key priority during 15/16 and this work will continue throughout 16/17. We have streamlined the business through restructuring and redesigning services while improving performance in key areas. Having completed a ‘deep dive’ into our voids and lettings processes, we have successfully reduced void costs, decreased rent loss from voids and successfully let a higher number of ‘hard to let’ properties.
Following our successful procurement of a new Construction Related Services Contract during 15/16, we will save £1.65m per annum from 16/17 onwards whilst still continuing to deliver a high quality repairs and improvement service to our customers. Furthermore, the delivery of our Digital Strategy will increase channel shift and reduce transaction costs, while improving our services and making them more accessible.
All of the measures we are taking to strengthen our business are underpinned by our new Business Strategy for 2016-18. The significant changes to our operating environment are reflected in the Strategy, with our aims and objectives realigned to enable them to become reflective and fully adaptive to the dynamic needs of the sector.
Our plans for the future are ambitious. We will continue to place a strong focus on sustaining strong communities through the provision of great homes that customers aspire to live in.
This report gives summary insight into our achievements and opportunities of the past year, alongside some personal stories from our customers on how we have made a difference to their lives.
As ever, our achievements in 2015/16 are down to many people; I’d like to thank our staff, customers, partners and our Board for their on-going efforts and commitment to livin’s success.
Colin Steel - Chief Executive
livin is a homes and communities business managing over 8,500 homes across County Durham. The organisation was formed in 2009 following the large-scale voluntary transfer (LSVT) of housing stock from Sedgefield Borough Council. The homes we manage are spread across 19 different communities predominantly within County Durham.
We are committed to improving lives by raising the aspirations and ambitions of our organisation, our people and our communities. We will achieve this by building a successful and sustainable business, and through our people, we will be able to continue to grow the great work we do in supporting the people in our communities to improve their lives.
We recognise that making communities vibrant places to live involves much more than letting and repairing homes. We work closely with our communities to improve employment and training opportunities, health outcomes, financial confidence and to bridge the digital divide that exists within our communities. Value for money is of critical importance to livin’s core services, and therefore delivery of its purpose as a Social Housing business. In the same way that livin’s mission is woven throughout everything livin does, so is value for money. livin believes in building sustainable communities and that this will lead to a sustainable business.
Providing Great Homes
Sustaining Strong Communities
Building a Successful Business