Wellingborough Homes accepted onto national lobby group
Published by kerri smith for Wellingborough Homes in Housing and also in Communities
Wellingborough Homes has become the 100th organisation to be accepted onto PlaceShapers, the influential lobby group for community-based housing associations.
Dave Willis, chief executive of Wellingborough Homes, which owns and manages more than 4,500 homes in Northamptonshire, said joining the group meant it would be able to work alongside like-minded organisations, all of which look out for the local interests of their residents.
“PlaceShapers is committed to local accountability and works to support, community-based housing groups, so we were not only thrilled to be unanimously accepted into the group but to find out that we are its 100th member,” explained Dave.
“It’s important for us as a small, independent housing group that we continue to focus on excellent services for all our residents and work on innovative projects that demonstrate our commitment to working with local partners for the benefit of all.
“We are strong believers in delivering local services that are designed with and for local people. In our view, it provides better joined-up and more efficient and effective services, and therefore greater value for money.
“Being part of PlaceShapers will not change that but we will be in a position to add our voice to another significant lobbying vehicle so that our views can be aired and heard on matters that are of importance to the social housing sector.
“It is another channel of knowledge for us, a critical part of our approach to risk management – being aware of and alert to emerging trends and risks.”
Lobby group PlaceShapers was launched in 2008, bringing together, community-based organisations from across the country who are committed to working at a local level to deliver tangible improvements to their respective areas.
With more than 700,000 homes between the members, providing services to more than two million people, PlaceShapers now has a network that is responsible for more than one quarter of the sector’s housing stock.
It prides itself on following an agenda that is based on localism and “Big Society” ethics and members have completed more than 40,000 new, affordable homes between 2008 and 2012 and will deliver a further 32,000 by 2015.
“We are committed to maintaining our independence and acting as champions for the delivery of local services, provided for local people, through local agencies,” explained Dave Willis.
He said membership will give Wellingborough Homes the chance to learn from other housing groups and to share its own examples of creative community partnership programmes.
He cited its FISH (Free Impartial Support & Help) Shop, which opened in December 2011 and is primarily funded by the housing group. It is used by ten agencies, including Connexions, Job Centre Plus (JCP), Northamptonshire Credit Union and Wellingborough Woman’s Aid, and last year dealt with more than 11,500 inquiries.
Welcoming Wellingborough Homes to PlaceShapers, Tony Stacey, chair of PlaceShapers, said: “We have gone from strength to strength since we began five years ago and have become a strong and effective voice for social housing. We also drive up standards in housing by sharing best practice, helping each other develop services that really meet local needs and make lasting difference to the lives of our residents.”
READ NEXT »