Tony Wehby, Family Housing chair of the board management
"There is no doubt that housing associations like Family are facing a demanding terrain to navigate, and it is going to be an interesting time ahead for us.
Our annual report sets out how we are performing against our national regulator, the Tenant Services Authority’s, six standards for housing providers, as well as showing areas where we are working hard to improve and setting the scene in terms of our approach to Local Offers.
With an eye on the external environment, we are considering new and innovative ways to deliver high quality services by more efficient and economical means.
As with all housing associations the skills and awareness of our staff, board and residents are key to our success. We are concentrating on developing staff expertise, offering training and employment opportunities and ensuring that we always have a diverse board membership.
We have been really lucky in the last year to see new board members bringing some excellent skills and experience to the organisation. We now have members who are specialists in the areas of regeneration and worklessness. This wealth of knowledge is going to help us build on our strong foundation and shape future projects.
Despite reductions in funding streams, we have worked with partners across the city to think creatively about ways to allow us to continue to deliver special projects such as offering training and employment and tackling fuel poverty. We see projects which directly support our tenants, and taking part in initiatives to support communities across the city as being a key function for us now, and into the future. Our experience of successful partnership working puts us in a strong position to consider future opportunities in a bid to share resources and achieve optimum outcomes for all involved, including residents."
Tim Sewell, Family Housing chief executive:
"Family Housing has always put its tenants at the heart of what it does, whether that is by providing homes or engaging with them to ensure the services we provide meet their needs.
This is going to be ever more the case as we look towards a stronger focus on tenant involvement and empowerment, and co-regulation. Residents are being given more power to hold us to account and scrutinise us which we have embraced. In the last year we have engaged with more tenants than ever through a range of involvement activities, including in the development of our annual report.
The increasing numbers of residents involved in our governance is a reflection of the success of our involvement structures and our commitment to putting residents at the forefront of what we do.
The current economic environment focuses minds ever more on value for money. Working closely with our residents we are ensuring that their priorities are met by spending money in the right ways and on the right things.
Despite these difficult times Family Housing is in a strong position as an independent and creative provider. Given recent government announcements we are under no illusions about the need to secure even more efficient and effective practices in the future.
We are committed to ensuring that not only do our residents have a good home and services to maintain their property, but that they are able to access other services such as employment and training support which will have broader benefits such as providing more options and choices and improving the quality of life.
We are already involved in some exciting new developments which reinforce our commitment to providing more affordable housing in the region. Going forward we will be looking for innovative partnerships which will allow us and our residents to benefit from new developments and sustainable technology markets.
There is no escaping that we will encounter challenges in the coming year but we believe that our success in partnership working and innovative flexible thinking to reach effective solutions will put us in a strong position to exploit opportunities that still exist."