Our purpose is to create quality homes, provide excellent services and develop thriving communities.

So how do we do this?

Well, through our core services we help hundreds of people every year move into a home they can afford, find work, receive the right services and enjoy their homes and communities.

But this is only part of what we do.

Last year, we completed a flagship development in Latchford, giving 104 local families the opportunity to rent or own an affordable home.

We began the transformation of Harrison Square, replacing disused shops with more than 60 stunning rented homes together with a pharmacy and local store.

We introduced Staying Home, a service dedicated to help older tenants stay independent and in their own homes for longer.

We’re involved in an ambitious project, working with the local authority and healthcare providers, to revolutionise the way health and social care is delivered in Warrington. Change like this won’t just ensure Warrington is fit for the future, it will transform people’s lives and we’re proud to be a part of it.

And the reason we can do all this is because we’re part of a growing and aspirational housing group that’s investing, changing lives and responding to the challenges our communities face.

We rent homes, we build homes and we invest in Warrington and its people every single day.

Rob Young

Rob Young
Group Chief Executive

What’s New

A snapshot of some of our achievements

Every year we rent, manage and maintain more than 8,000 homes. We help people manage their money, find work and live better. These are our core services.

What you might not know is we also:

Our Year in Pictures

Making a difference every day

Letting homes, maintaining and repairing homes, dealing with enquiries, handling complaints, collecting rent and making your neighbourhood a nice place to live in are things we do on a daily basis.

We want these services to be the best they can be, so we’re constantly reviewing, revising and improving them.

What’s new this year?

Our objective: Making online services quicker and more convenient

Websites can help you find what you need or do what needs to be done, in a few quick clicks. With this in mind, we transformed ours. We redesigned it to make it easier to read. We introduced an interactive help centre where you can search by keyword or topic and find what you’re looking for faster.

So what did you think? Well:

The percentage of customers going online to get in touch, pay or report repairs is now almost 40%

The number of people paying online has more than doubled.

Homes

Maintaining and repairing homes

81% of tenants are satisfied with the quality of their home and, although 100% of our homes meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, the process of maintaining our homes never stops!

£30

The average spent on every home, every week, last year

£5,037,000

Spent on routine maintenance, this is everyday repairs

£2,312,000

Spent on planned maintenance, this is larger scale work like kitchens and bathrooms

How well did we perform?

  • Report and Book Repairs

    96.9%

    Of emergency repairs completed in our target time

  • Report and Book Repairs

    99.7%

    Of responsive repairs completed in our target time

  • gas safety certificate

    100%

    Of homes have a valid gas safety certificate

Your safety is our priority, so we take legal action against those properties we cannot access.

  • tenants satisfied

    77.7%

    Of customers are satisfied with our repairs, and we continue to work towards improving this.

Money

Your rent enables us to do the things we do

The rent you pay does so much more than pay for the home you live in. It means that we can repair and maintain your home now and in the future. It means that we can keep it (and you) safe with gas checks, water checks and electrical checks. It pays for people to help you if and when you need advice or support, it helps find you a job if you need one and much, much more.

So thank you for paying your rent.

Did you know?

Your pound and what it pays for*

Every pound we collect in rent and service charges helps fund our day-to-day activities. Here’s a breakdown of how each pound is spent:

  • Average Rent

    *£88.83

    Based on average social rent for a 3 bedroom property

Helping tenants in need

With changes to welfare reform, and the challenges of Universal Credit, making ends meet has never been harder for many people.

Our Money Advice Team has worked tirelessly throughout the year and managed to secure a whopping £1,384,869 to help tenants in need.

Services

60,455 calls taken last year

Our customer service centre deals with an average of 240 calls a day.

We know we’re not perfect. That’s why we’ve made a service commitment to answer 90% of calls within 20 seconds.

Managing complaints

Every business gets complaints and ours is no different. But we do work hard to respond to, and where possible resolve, every complaint we receive.

Here’s how we did last year:

What customers are complaining about

The remaining 39% included; outstanding repairs, attitude of staff and missed appointments.

What we’ll do to improve things

We’ve set new targets to reduce the number of complaints we receive and will:

Empty homes ready to let

When someone moves out of a property, we work quickly to make it ready for the next tenant. First, we carry out any necessary repairs. Then we do essential safety checks.

Neighbourhoods

We want you to feel happy, safe and secure in the neighbourhood you live in

  • satisfied

    79%

    Of tenants are satisfied with their neighbourhood

  • recommend

    40%

    Of tenants would recommend us to a friend

Creating pleasant places is an ongoing activity for us. Here are just some of the things we did to improve our areas last year:

You said, we did

Each year we conduct surveys to see how you feel about the services we offer.

You said:

7 out of 10 customers felt that we listen and act on your views but 3 out of 10 felt more could be done.

We did:

We created the Customer Consultative Forum (CCF), a group of tenants representing other tenants who scrutinise the board and our activities.

We did:

We have upped the number of surveys we conduct to focus on more services than ever before. If you’re asked to take part, please do.

We did:

We also introduced Torus Talk, a Facebook group discussing a wide range of topics related to our activities. If you’d like to join the group visit Torus Talk

We did:

The CCF have already completed a scrutiny review of our Customer Contact Centre. As a result of the review they have made a service commitment to answer 90% of calls within 20 seconds.

Employment

Helping you into work

Being in work does so much more than boost your income. It lifts your confidence and raises self-esteem too.

Our team works with employers across the region to bring you the latest job opportunities. They also provide weekly drop in sessions to help with job applications, job searches and CVs.

All of which helps towards your claimant commitment if you’re on Universal Credit.

Value for Money

We are committed to providing value for money across everything we do

We aim to work efficiently and effectively, delivering the best service we can at the lowest reasonable cost to maintain high quality.

The better our value for money, the more we can invest and the more we can improve services.

  • Reduced operating costs

    £0.7m

    Last year we reduced our operating costs by £0.7m

The Government has changed the formula we used to set our rents which means by 2020 we will have £18 million less income. As a result, we are still making efficiencies as a business.

These savings have helped us to:

Any surplus goes into existing homes, repairs, services and new homes

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a home they can afford. But we need more homes of the right size in the right places. Last year we built or began around 170 new homes in Warrington and have 97 more underway. Selling a percentage of these homes helps people buy a home more affordably and generates money that we reinvest back into our existing stock, services or more new homes.

As a group, we aim to invest £416,000,000 in new homes in the next 7 years across not only in Warrington but also across the surrounding areas of St Helens, Wigan and West Lancashire.

We also attracted £0.8m in external funding

Warrington is our home every bit as much as it’s yours and we want people to want to live here. The money we invest in local communities is designed to make a real difference by improving the appearance of estates, improving opportunities for local people and improving quality of life.

Your Thoughts

Have your say, we’d love to hear from you

If you have any thoughts or comments about our annual report, let us know!

Email: communications@wearetorus.co.uk
Facebook: Golden Gates Housing Trust
Twitter: @GGHTrust

At Torus Talk:

Even if you’re short on time you can help us improve what we do and how we do it. Join our Facebook group Torus Talk, and become part of our online community, complete quick surveys and be part of the conversation. Find out more:

Facebook: Torus Talk
Email: getinvolved@wearetorus.co.uk