How to build 2,000 affordable homes in built up London?

When I joined SBHG nearly two years ago I was struck by how clear everyone I met was with the vision of SBHG as a community housing association.

CGi Fulham North showing Action on Disability foreground HI RES

The focus was all about what we can do for our community, to loosely paraphrase John F Kennedy.

Our new 2018-2023 corporate strategy reconfirms our community focus and sets new standards for us.

We want to deliver the very best services and we want to deliver them to more residents by growing the number of homes we own. Our targets are clear – resident satisfaction of 90%, 2,000 new homes, an operating margin of 34% and online services used by 80% of our residents.

That will mean change. In the year where we celebrate our 50th birthday, we also launched our Future 50 programme.

Future 50 involves our whole SBHG community. The first stage is co-creation with staff and resident to help us find ways to run our business as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Technology will be a key tool.

Delivering excellence doesn’t have to be hard – people want to do it.

In fact, if we make it easy for everyone to do the right thing, the right thing will get done and everyone benefits.  That’s why it is so important to take account of everyone’s views and priorities and to eliminate the blind spots that may exist – that’s co-creation in action.

We have challenging targets on development. Our strong community focus and links with local authorities mean we have been successful in our development plans to date.

We often take tricky sites in built up areas and build homes for our residents and facilities for the local community. As I write we are on site in Hammersmith and Fulham in two places doing this. Going forward we want to do even more and we are clear that the 2,000 homes we develop will be affordable.

Our journey has started with the news that we have been upgraded to G1 to join our V1 status by the regulator.

Coupling this with the vote of confidence (and the hard cash!) of our new £190m funding programme says that we aren’t alone in thinking these are the right things to do, some hefty institutions with hard nosed analysis agree with us.

We will do all of this while keeping our social purpose. Build more homes – it’s obvious the area needs them. Efficiency and greater use of technology – that’s to create space so we spend more time doing what we are here to do – supporting and building our community.

I am proud to play a part in continuing to deliver the vision of SBHG as a community housing association.

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