Page 3 - Ability Housing Association Annual Report 2015
P. 3

Ability Housing Association - Annual Report 2015

          This annual report will be my last as  1% each year. This came just 18 months  for Sessile Court in Hayes, we also won
                                                                               a major contract for supported living
                                            after the Government had announced
          Chief Executive at Ability. After 24 years
          with the organisation and the last 14  a 10-year rent settlement of CPI+1%.  for people with learning disabilities in
          of those as CEO, I have decided the  Like all housing associations, this  Waterlooville in Hampshire. In Surrey,
                                                                               we negotiated a framework partnership
          time is right for me to try some new
                                            meant we need to tear up our business
          challenges.                       plans and rewrite them. As a result,  arrangement with the county council
                                            Ability will be able to build far fewer  that will ensure long-term growth
          In some ways, 2014-2015 was more  new homes in the future.           where we are able to supply new homes.
          challenging than most, whilst in others
          it provided a typical rollercoaster of  However, despite these difficulties, we  These positive outcomes provide a
          challenge and opportunity. The one  still managed to complete two splendid  firm endorsement for our strategy of
          constant feature throughout my time  new supported living developments –  focusing on providing supported living
          at Ability has been that by focusing   providing 15 homes at Elva Court in  solutions in high quality self-contained
          resolutely on our purpose, alongside  Bexhill and another 15 at Sessile Court  homes. The board has reaffirmed its
          positive ‘can-do’ commitments, we  in Hayes. At Sessile Court, we were   commitment to an independent future
          have been able to overcome most of  selected as care provider too. As the  of doing more of the same for the
          the barriers to progress that have  year ended, we were near to completing  foreseeable future. That is, we will
          landed in our way.                a third supported living development  continue to use positive attitudes to
                                            of 12 homes in Woking. We had also  overcome challenges and barriers for
          At the beginning of the year, our repairs  started work on converting The Lodge,  the benefit of people who want to live
          contractor, Richardson, went into   in Farnham, to provide a further   more independently.
          administration. As a result, our repairs  four homes.
          service suffered. Although we worked                                 While I will miss the greatest rewards
          quickly to find a new contractor, it took  Care & support services have   of seeing so many Ability customers
          a few months before Mears had all the  experienced a difficult time in recent  achieving their independent living goals,
          staff and facilities they needed to   years, with many low-level services  I know that, together, the Ability board
          deliver the first-class service our   being decommissioned and the hourly  and my colleagues will achieve many
          customers expect. As a result, customer  rates for the remaining services being  more successes in the years to come.
          satisfaction levels understandably   squeezed year on year by cash-strapped
          fell back.                        local authorities.

          In other unexpected developments, the  Despite this, we have started to grow
          Government announced that housing  our care & support services once more.
          associations must reduce their rents by  This year, as well as winning a contract  David Williams, Chief Executive

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