In this series, our Chair, David Biggs, introduces the seven themes of our new strategy. David outlines why the quality of our homes and remains the top of our agenda.
All our seven themes of Better Futures, our new strategic plan, are equally important. But if I had to choose one above the rest, I would probably choose the theme ‘Safe, good quality homes and estates’. Why? Well, because of the two words: “safety” and “home”.
In whatever we do we must keep our customers safe. This covers all our areas of activity from the initial design of a building to its maintenance, general upkeep and inspections, as well as our interactions with customers.
In short, we have a responsibility to ensure our properties are safe and secure for people to live in. And this isn't just restricted to the buildings themselves.
It also means we need to create and maintain estates that reduce the opportunities for anti-social behaviour, where the environment we manage complements the good quality homes we provide. Research shows that, when people think about quality of life, the condition of the estate they live in is as important as the condition of their home.
These are priorities our customers are reflecting back at us. During a recent Zoom focus group, it was interesting to hear customers dwell on the ‘broken windows theory’, and the role of perceptions in shaping your experience of where you live. They felt that we had a strong influence on shaping those perceptions.
Now turning to focus on the word ‘home’. This to me means so much more than a building of four walls and a roof, it means a place where people can feel safe, where they live permanently and can develop, enjoy family and relationships, and feel comfortable. We have set our goal to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard as a minimum, but we are also looking further into this to see if that is sufficient, to see where we can improve homes and, indeed, regenerate estates.
There will be a lot to do to achieve the goals we have set against this theme. But as we continue to invest in customer and building safety and place neighbourhoods at the heart of our operating model, I’m confident that we will be in the position to deliver.
To learn more about our Better Futures strategy (2021-24), click here.