Wulvern transforms frontline services
Published by Hilary Buckley for Wulvern Housing Ltd in Housing
The Housing Sector is facing one of its most challenging times to date, with welfare reform hitting tenants hard and the demand for affordable homes rising, whilst Government Funding is tightening and traditional ways of raising finance is changing.
Crewe-based affordable housing provider, Wulvern is making organisational changes to ensure it weathers these changes, improves services for customers and remains a strong, viable and growing organisation. In doing so the Times Top 100 listed company is seeking to recruit talented people to help deliver brilliant social housing and transform lives.
Wulvern is the largest registered provider of affordable housing in South Cheshire, looking after around 5,500 properties. After the organisation completed a review of its frontline services in response to customer priorities, it identified a need for an operational transformation which is anticipated to deliver a greatly enhanced service that customers’ value, at a significantly reduced cost. Since its introduction in summer 2013, the transformation has resulted in a restructure of the senior leadership team with a reduction from 13 to six positions, rent arrears have reduced by 1% and turnover and asset value have increased significantly.
The initial changes will improve customer-facing services and have resulted in a number of exciting new roles including Neighbourhood Workers, Incomes Specialist together with Customer Support and Home Support roles.
Chief Executive Sue Lock explains: “Our customers matter. We are committed to delivering efficient and effective services and have redesigned our frontline services to ensure we get closer to each and every one of our 15,000 customers. To ensure we deliver brilliant social housing we have to have a structure which is fit for the future and cost efficient which will ensure the strength of the organisation going forward.”
Mrs Lock continues: “Working with customers and staff we have analysed and challenged how we operate, assessed processes for Value for Money, and consequently have designed an enhanced service that goes beyond the existing sector norms.
Resources are focused on service delivery, with robust back office systems and effective processes. Staff have been mobilised and are now out of the office more, managing smaller patches of around 250 homes in their neighbourhoods and working with customers to help make a real difference to those living there.”
As well as improving homes and services for existing customers, there are over 4,000 people currently waiting for affordable housing in Cheshire East and this demand is rising. As a responsible social landlord, Wulvern is committed to building more affordable homes to meet this demand.
Deputy Chief Executive Sasha Deepwell comments: “Wulvern is currently delivering its largest ever affordable homes development programme of nearly 500 new homes across Cheshire, offering a mixture of rent and Shared Ownership, which is supported by the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Affordable Homes Programme. The changes being introduced will ensure Wulvern is in a strong position to bid for future funding and able to raise the additional capital needed to deliver our ambitious plans for even more new homes and services going forward.”
The HCA have recently awarded Wulvern the highest possible ratings for both Governance and Viability and Wulvern is confident that with these changes in place, it will maintain this position which is great news for existing customers and its customers of the future.
Wulvern has also recently achieved Gold Investors in People (IIP) accreditation and for the second year running has maintained its star accreditation in the annual Best Companies survey.
For more information on current vacancies visit www.wulvern.org.uk