The financial case for merger was compelling.
As separate organisations, both Housing Plus Group and Stafford and Rural Homes were financially robust, delivering performances significantly above average in the sector.
Together, we recognised that a new, combined business would have greater financial strength, enabling it to do more than either landlord could achieve alone.
As well as achieving savings through refinancing opportunities, our merger generated access to additional investment capacity.
When we prepared for merger in 2019, we agreed outcomes that are as clear as they are ambitious for our repairs and maintenance services.
As important as our commitment to build new homes, the Group will focus investment in our existing housing stock by ensuring that homes are well maintained and benefit from ongoing improvement programmes. Our expanded scale means that we expect to invest more than £100m in improvements and repairs by 2023.
Preparing for merger in 2019, we recognised that there was a superb opportunity to integrate the care services of Housing Plus Group and Stafford and Rural Homes, to provide more choice for older people right across Staffordshire and Shropshire.
During this year we began to fulfil the promise we made on that merger, to provide one-third more hours of crucially-needed care and support.
In 2019 we asked for your support for a merger between Housing Plus Group and Stafford and Rural Homes. You agreed that we should take the opportunity to build a bigger group, offering even better homes and services.
This report has been prepared during a time of national challenge and reflects our year of change. For Housing Plus Group, 2019/20 was shaped by our successful merger with Stafford and Rural Homes.
This was a year in which the merger between Housing Plus Group and Stafford and Rural Homes transformed our organisation. The merger created a new, larger and more resilient Group which now manages 18,000 homes and provides employment, training and apprenticeships for 860 local people.
Chief executive Sarah Boden describes her personal highlights from the last financial year.
When I look back, I’m filled with enormous pride about what Housing Plus Group has achieved. With the highest regulatory ratings of V1 for viability and G1 for governance, we are a strong, effective Group delivering on our commitment to provide the best possible homes, services and care for our customers.
Our wonderful colleagues, boards and partners have ensured that we have delivered strongly against the challenging targets set in our corporate plan.
Property director Stephen Collins decribes how Property Plus puts the customer at the heart of everything they do.
We’re committed to delivering an outstanding repair and maintenance service to over 12,000 customers across Shropshire and Staffordshire. We work hard to ensure we exceed our customers’ expectations and regularly partner with them to develop and improve our services.
Feedback from the last STAR survey told us that repairs are a number one priority for tenants and something that they felt we could improve upon.
Neighbourhoods director Jan Goode explains how people are at the heart of the neighbourhoods directorate.
Managing 12,000 homes, we are more than a landlord because we are driven by a social purpose.
We set out to transform lives, build communities and provide the services our customers need. In 2018/19, we focused on three key themes to help us achieve those objectives.
Care and support director Les Clarke describes how a fabulous team always ensures excellence.
Each year, I think that the marvellous Care Plus team – the care and support workers, coordinators, retirement living staff, tenancy sustainment team, our office administrators and managers – can’t do any more.
And every year they amaze me; excelling themselves to deliver even better care, support and retirement living for our customers.
People and transformation director Louise Wagstaff outlines how we have continued to grow over the last year; employing more people to deliver more services and offering opportunities and development to our colleagues.
We now employ more than 600 people, all committed to doing the best for our customers.
Tell us about your job
I’m 18 months old and in the last part of my training to be a guide dog. I go to school in Shrewsbury and lodge with Jacky Ruston who works as an income team leader for Severnside Housing.
How did you get into housing?