We recognise that how we manage your tenancy and neighbourhood is important to you and we will continue to take action to improve our performance.
This year we have continued to prepare ‘neighbourhood plans’, in places where focused and tailored local actions are needed. We now have plans covering a third of our homes. To develop the plans we have consulted customers living in the area to understand their priorities. You can find out more in the ‘What’s happening in your area’ section of this Annual Report.
To help deliver these plans, we are also investing in neighbourhoods through a three-year £9m ‘place fund’ and larger-scale regeneration initiatives, the benefits of which will be seen over the longer-term.
We are taking action to speed up the time it takes to re-let homes by improving communication between Riverside teams. This is helping us decide more quickly what repair and improvement work is needed in empty homes before they can be re-let to our new Empty Homes Standard.
Collecting the rent is essential if we are to maintain and improve our homes and services to the standards you expect. However we also understand that many customers are facing huge financial pressures. So we have launched a new campaign, “Let’s Talk Rent”, to encourage customers and our teams to have more regular conversations about rent payments, and the support we can offer.
We want to work with you to ensure you can pay your rent, and as part of this we provide a range of extra money advice and training and employment support services. These services are part funded by our Riverside Foundation charity. In 2019-20 we supported 3,356 people or households through Foundation-funded projects, including helping 385 customers to develop their employment skills, supporting 138 people to gain qualifications and helping 357 people to obtain essential furniture. You can read more about how Riverside Foundation supports customers here.
To help us compare how we are doing, we share information about our performance with a group of housing associations of a similar type and size. We compare ourselves to the worst, average and best performers and use the latest available performance information.