Broadland Housing held its Annual General Meeting in September. Michael Newey, Chief Executive (pictured), said that the key challenges in 2020-21 had been to keep people safe, keep homes decent and meet tenants’ expectations. He described how Broadland had ‘gone the extra mile’ to meet these challenges.
Providing new homes
Despite the pandemic, during 2020-21 Broadland Housing delivered:
- a total of 147 new homes (against a target of 72), of which
- 92 were affordable rent
- 33 were for shared ownership
During the year Broadland also allocated:
- a total of 348 homes, of which
- 117 were to homeless households
- 111 to older people.
Keeping tenants safe
The pandemic has been the most significant event of my life, and the same is true for most of us. Life has changed, and we have all faced significant challenges. I am really proud of how we transitioned almost overnight to meet those challenges and continue to meet our objectives.
Our ambitions remain the same, but the world has changed. We have had to adapt the way we do things. Our number one priority has been keeping people safe, and that has sometimes meant that we haven’t been able to do everything that we wanted to do.
Supporting people has never been more important, whether through befriending calls with people who have been isolated in their homes, or dealing with urgent issues such as emergency repairs.”
Michael Newey, Chief Executive
Working towards net carbon zero
As Broadland emerges from the pandemic, it faces the continuing challenges of responding to climate change and tackling homelessness, and a renewed focus on local delivery all priorities, along with continuing to provide more new homes.
Climate change will in the long term be a bigger issue than Covid. The issue is how we can deliver the 2050 net carbon zero target without pushing people into fuel poverty? One piece of research has estimated that meeting that target will cost an average of nearly £21,000 per affordable home, so the financial impact is enormous.
Tackling homelessness has been a long-term priority for us. The pandemic inspired a renewed sense of joined-up thinking and partnership working, and we have played a role in both the Norfolk Strategic Housing Partnership and the Norfolk Homelessness Forum. We have also worked with King’s Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth to provide ‘housing first’ accommodation, move-on accommodation and homes for prison leavers.
Michael Newey, Chief Executive
First hybrid AGM
Thanking tenants, staff and stakeholders for their support over the year, Michael Newey said:
There is no doubt that the pandemic will continue to have a substantial impact on our operations during the coming year. However, our commitment to delivering our enduring purpose, namely helping people who cannot afford decent places to live in the open market access good quality affordable homes, remains as strong as ever.
The AGM was Broadland’s first hybrid meeting. To observe Covid-19 safety guidance, a limited number of people attended in person, while the remainder joined virtually.