Drumchapel Housing

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Drumchapel Housing is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.drumchapelhc.org.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | HARRY J PALMER HOLDINGS LTD
our service is constantly above
theirexpectations.
House purchasers are our ultimate
clients, and we will provide an
exhaustive information base
concerning their properties at the
initial handover. In reality, this is a
“Home User Guide” of information,
from how to run the boiler to what
colour and brand of paint has been
applied to thewalls.
Every one of our homes is covered by
a warranty from NHBC, with whom
we have been working since their
inception in the 1930s as the National
House Builders Registration Council.
Harry J Palmer himself recognised
membership to be an important
voluntary venture into self-regulation
by the industry – a response to
poor building practices in the inter-
waryears.
After 81 years in business, we have
amassed quite a considerable bank of
land, which we continue to promote
for housing use. Beyond this, we are
always keen to take on contracting
work. Our position as a privately held,
financially sound housebuilder makes
us the ideal choice for partnering
with, and I am in constant contact
with local partners to identify sites to
bringforward.
At present, we are building 16 two
and three-bedroomed homes in
Henstridge, south Somerset, on behalf
of LiveWest Housing Association,
making a vital contribution to their
commitment to build 400 new homes
in rural areas across the South West
over the next two years.
We will be partnering with LiveWest
into next year also, with the
construction of ten new dwellings in
west Dorset. Further projects in the
pipeline include a development of 37
homes in Corfe Mullen, east Dorset.
Ensuring a stable future
With over 2,500 new builds under
our belt, I am enthusiastic for the
future. In a period of political and
market uncertainty, the company
remains under constant pressure to
retain its high level of build quality in
an environment where the national
housebuilders, with economies of
purchase power and labour resources,
are enjoying the fatter profits which
the industry is renowned for.
Retaining our high standards of build
and continuing to meet the targets
for building to zero-carbon standard
is the most obvious challenge that
we face at present, together with the
uncertainty over the procurement of
materials and their cost when Brexit
isconcluded.
Overall, the company is on a fantastic
footing. Our core business will always
be housebuilding; however, with our
skilled team in place, we will continue
to look at opportunities to work with
our partners in delivering housing to
meet general housing needs. With
the fourth generation of Palmers still
only in single digits, this continued
investment should help secure the
business for them.
In a period of
political and
market
uncertainty,
the company
remains under
constant
pressure to
retain its high
level of build
quality
The interior of a Harry J
Palmer-built property
27DRUMCHAPEL HOUSING |
HOUSING
Kincaven Place
Drumchapel Housing was founded as a fully mutual
housing co-operative in 1985. Originally designed as a
steering group, it began operating in its current form in
1988. As one of the original housing co-operatives in Scotland,
it has had significant influence on the way that co-operatives
are managed and structured. Today, the co-operative is led by
its board, who employ staff to manage the 483 properties and
offices – all within the Drumchapel area.
Our foundation was prompted by the fact that the council who owned the
properties did not carry out repairs, nor were they able to do so. With the desire
to improve the housing conditions, and thus the quality of life of those living in
the housing, we originally formed as Southdeen Housing Co-operative and the
properties were subsequently transferred to us from the council. We have since
grown from the original 200 or so properties to more than double that number in
the past decades.
Constant goals
We are a fully mutual co-operative and proud of this; all our members are tenants
who have the right to vote for their management board. In turn, the board makes
decisions on behalf of the community in which they live. The board meets ten times
a year and only tenants are elected to the board at the annual general meeting,
although non-tenants can also be co-opted. We believe that operating as a fully
mutual co-operative comes with the benefit of a different sense of community, fully
accountable to our people.
FACTS ABOUT
DRUMCHAPEL HOUSING
»Acting Director: Pauline Burke
»Founded in 1988
»Located in Drumchapel
»Services: Housing co-operative
»No. of employees: 11
Drumchapel Housing
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | DRUMCHAPEL HOUSING
Our board continually considers
our mission, values and vision and
ultimately our aims, which have
remained the same in the past years. It
reads: “DHC is committed to providing
an excellent service to our tenants
and service users. We will work in
partnership with the local community
to provide good-quality homes and
create a better Drumchapel.” We
have worked for over 30 years in
Drumchapel and our goals and place
remain constant for our tenants.
Landlord of choice
We operate in the knowledge that
our tenants see us as the landlord
of choice in our neighbourhood;
we work with our customers,
communities and local stakeholders to
create an area in which people choose
to, and are happy to, live. At our very
core are great service and value for
money and we strive relentlessly to
balance both.
Our work is underpinned by three core
values that shape how we do business,
how we intend to achieve our mission,
and the objectives we aim to fulfil.
The first value is that of excellence:
we are committed to providing a
quality, customer-focused service
that demonstrates value for money.
We are fully transparent in terms
of how we are performing and
welcome challenges and feedback to
continuously improve the effectiveness
and relevance of our service.
We are accountable for all that we
do. Our board and senior staff team
provide strong strategic leadership and
governance; our frontline staff lead
the way in service delivery, ensuring
tenants’ interests are protected in all
that we do. We ensure that our actions
are transparent.
Finally, and arguably most importantly,
partnerships ensure that we operate
collaboratively. We work with all
sections of the local community, both
collectively and individually with our
customers, other registered social
landlords, and statutory and voluntary
sector partners in Drumchapel to
improve the lives of our residents. We
will continue to be a proactive member
of the local community, seeking out
new, innovative ways to address issues
that impact our residents.
Merryton Avenue
We will work
in partnership
with the local
community to
provide good-
quality homes
and create a
better
Drumchapel
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | DRUMCHAPEL HOUSING
Our board continually considers
our mission, values and vision and
ultimately our aims, which have
remained the same in the past years. It
reads: “DHC is committed to providing
an excellent service to our tenants
and service users. We will work in
partnership with the local community
to provide good-quality homes and
create a better Drumchapel.” We
have worked for over 30 years in
Drumchapel and our goals and place
remain constant for our tenants.
Landlord of choice
We operate in the knowledge that
our tenants see us as the landlord
of choice in our neighbourhood;
we work with our customers,
communities and local stakeholders to
create an area in which people choose
to, and are happy to, live. At our very
core are great service and value for
money and we strive relentlessly to
balance both.
Our work is underpinned by three core
values that shape how we do business,
how we intend to achieve our mission,
and the objectives we aim to fulfil.
The first value is that of excellence:
we are committed to providing a
quality, customer-focused service
that demonstrates value for money.
We are fully transparent in terms
of how we are performing and
welcome challenges and feedback to
continuously improve the effectiveness
and relevance of our service.
We are accountable for all that we
do. Our board and senior staff team
provide strong strategic leadership and
governance; our frontline staff lead
the way in service delivery, ensuring
tenants’ interests are protected in all
that we do. We ensure that our actions
are transparent.
Finally, and arguably most importantly,
partnerships ensure that we operate
collaboratively. We work with all
sections of the local community, both
collectively and individually with our
customers, other registered social
landlords, and statutory and voluntary
sector partners in Drumchapel to
improve the lives of our residents. We
will continue to be a proactive member
of the local community, seeking out
new, innovative ways to address issues
that impact our residents.
Merryton Avenue
We will work
in partnership
with the local
community to
provide good-
quality homes
and create a
better
Drumchapel
29DRUMCHAPEL HOUSING |
HOUSING
Challenging operations
Understandably, we face challenges, as
many other landlords do, particularly
in an area of social deprivation, with
68 per cent of our tenants in receipt of
benefits. Welfare reform is one of the
greatest issues we face.
We have seen this especially in the
bedroom tax, led by Westminster and
we feel that devolved powers have
been a benefit to both our co-operative,
and more importantly, our tenants.
Our current challenge is managing the
impact of the introduction of universal
credit upon our tenants.
Bigger isn’t always better
Our tenants are happy with us
operating as a fully mutual co-
operative and charity, which provides
us with sufficient status and tax
allowances. We believe that our
position as a fully mutual housing
co-operative is relatively rare and
allows us to maintain a position
as an independent entity within a
community-based setting; our position
is one which is integral to the living
situation and wellbeing of many
individuals and families.
We do, however, recognise that times
are changing; bigger organisations are
taking over smaller organisations for a
variety of reasons. However, we believe
that bigger does not always mean
better. Our performance, satisfaction
levels and what our tenants tell us on a
daily basis encourages us to continue to
work with a personal touch; being only
a short walk from all of our properties,
we offer an excellent service and we
are proud that our tenants can call on
us at any giventime.
In our small community, our tenants
know one another. We encourage
everyone to attend our events; it is this
personal touch that we believe cannot
be substituted by size. Overall, the
services we provide to our community
are essential and we are confident
that this will continue in the coming
years and will keep growing to meet
the needs of Drumchapel and the
surrounding area. From fixing leaky
taps to providing advice, we are proud
of our role in social housing.
We are fully
transparent in
terms of how
we are
performing and
welcome
challenges and
feedback to
continuously
improve the
effectiveness
and relevance of
our service
Southdeen Avenue

www.drumchapelhc.org.uk

This article was sponsored by Drumchapel Housing. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.