A high satisfaction rate among tenants is just one indication that Dominion can hold its own against its competitors in the private sector and it well deserved this Fusion Building Systems-sponsored award
Dominion Housing Group has taken the housing shortage in the South-east and tackled it head-on. It has one of the largest development programmes in the country with more than 10,000 properties currently in management, more than 3000 in the pipeline and a grant from the Housing Corporation and other funding sources of £136m to spend creating even more homes. And they’ll be good homes too, if recent Dominion developments are anything to go by. Examples include Queen Charlotte’s in Hammersmith, a 70% affordable housing scheme on the site of a former maternity hospital, and Union Wharf, which provides attractive waterside apartments in Hillingdon. No wonder an independent survey said that 87% of Dominion’s tenants were happy with their home – who wouldn’t be?
The judges verdict was: “They are smart developers who compete very effectively against the private sector. There is also evidence they are seeing the benefits of good design.”
This year Higgins Construction, an Essex-based housebuilder, has refocused its business to make affordable housing its priority – and it’s a strategy that is working already. The main contractor on the regeneration of 30 housing estates in the past year, Higgins has been improving the standards of more than 2700 properties. And it is doing everything right, too – reshaping its business so that its pre-construction teams are able to provide a much stronger customer service; overhauling its supply chain to create strategic partnerships; using much more off-site manufacture … The list goes on.
Keynote Housing Group
This West Midlands housing association manages 16,000 homes across the region as well as regeneration and development services. It has made some considerable achievements over the past year, including completing more than 250 new-build homes, a renovation programme that has restored many empty houses in Birmingham and brought them back into use, creating a neighbourhood warden team that is reducing crime in Stoke-on-Trent, and starting on site with the UK’s largest mixed-tenure retirement village in Northampton. A sort of one-stop-shop, then, for all affordable housing needs.
London & Quadrant Group
Another housing association to be making a not inconsiderable dent in the South-east’s housing shortage, London & Quadrant has built more than 800 homes a year in the region, every year since 1998. This year the group has topped 1000 and is planning another 2000 by 2006. And the customers are loving it – 84% were satisfied or very satisfied with their new home in the last survey. What’s more, L&Q’s staff must be pretty satisfied, too, with the group ranking 12th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For league tables.
This Kent-based contractor and developer has a very impressive set of figures that earned it a place on this shortlist. And they’re not just business and financial statistics – although increasing turnover 48%, securing £180m of future work and getting 6000 properties to decent homes standard last year alone would probably have done the job. But no, United House can also boast a 90% customer satisfaction rating, an increase in staff training of 192%, an expanded supply chain integration programme and a corporate social responsibility committee.
The Building Communties awards 2005
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Affordable Housing Provider of the Year: Winner Dominion Housing Group