This year our focus remained on building and maintaining safe, decent affordable homes and it’s been another busy year for our Fire Safety Team following the introduction of new government guidance and legislation. We invested over £6m in fire safety throughout the year and recruited five new colleagues dedicated to fire safety, including a Resident Engagement Manager to ensure our residents are kept frequently updated throughout any changes to fire policy and to ensure we can quickly respond to any feedback.
The team completed nearly 3,500 Fire Risk Actions to make sure our residents and the homes they live in are as safe as possible. Fire Risk Actions cover all sorts of fire safety work: checking and installing fire doors, carrying out electrical and gas safety tests, servicing and testing fire alarms and making sure we’ve got personal emergency evacuation plans for all residents who need them. This year we invested over £2.1m in our fire door programme, which involved assessing thousands of our doors and replacing 964 fire doors.
Our committment to building more affordable homes
During 2020/21, we invested £30.3m in developing 313 new homes, the most we've ever built in a year, despite the pandemic. We're really proud that over half of these homes are affordable. We build homes for private sale to generate the money needed to fund more, much needed affordable housing.
In total, we now own and manage over 7,300 homes throughout North London and Hertfordshire and we plan to build over 350 more by 2022 as part of our ambitious four year plan.
We have continued to work as part of 'The Connected Partnership', with Octavia and Shepherds Bush Housing Group and retained our 'strategic partner' status to benefit from a total of £27m of grant funding . Our next four years we will invest a collective £300million to develop more affordable homes.
Some of the homes we've built this year
Camden Road, Islington, N7
St John's Road, Harrow, HA1
Henry Darlot Drive, NW7
Our work to save our residents money in energy bills
Our communal heating systems at Echo Court and at Byron Court and Moore House in Harrow have been assessed as being two of the most efficient systems ever delivered in the UK. We’ve been working closely with one of our heating contractors, FairHeat to improve customer satisfaction and keep heating and hot water costs down. Through a process of optimising designs, using findings from on-site investigations and reviewing available data, these recently completed developments were assessed as best in class for low cost and low carbon heating systems. Efficiency calculations for the Echo Court scheme estimate that this work has saved each resident approximately £160 per year on bills and reduced site-wide carbon emissions by a massive 72 tonnes of CO2 per year!
We’ve also developed an Energy Efficiency database and carried out 400 building surveys to help identify key buildings or schemes where we can find affordable solutions to help deliver more efficient, cost effective heating and hot water systems. Our plan is to continue to save our residents money on their bills and reduce our carbon footprint!