“It is critical that landlords work closely and openly with residents … on safety issues.”
We want you to feel comfortable, safe and secure in your home. As well as general health and safety, we have always had a strong focus on Fire Safety for our residents. For this reason, we have a dedicated Fire Safety Officer who is responsible for all fire related issues in the properties we manage.
This year, we achieved a “Commended in the Public Service & Local Government Sector” in the internationally-renowned RoSPA Health and Safety Awards.
A key focus for us this year has been how we manage and reduce risk in the new services we manage. Many of these are higher-risk areas and include the management of temporary accommodation and the outreach work that puts our staff out in the city centre day and night, engaging with people living on the streets.
How are we performing?
"For residents to be empowered they need good information on how their landlord is performing compared to others."
Here are our headline performance figures for last year. You'll find links to our full performance reports for the year below.
Dealing with City Centre Anti-Social Behaviour
We're a part of the Proactive Engagement and Enforcement Partnership (PEEP), which works to eliminate visible on-street begging, anti-social behaviour and drug taking activities in Derby city centre.
In 12 months, over 170 arrests were made by the PEEP project, along with 29 individuals who were helped into accommodation, and 40 people began engaging with drug and alcohol treatment services.
Support for Rough Sleepers
We now manage homelessness services on behalf of Derby City Council. This year saw the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 come into force. The act has significant new duties for councils to provide support to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Thanks to grants from central government, we've established new ways of supporting rough sleepers. We established a dedicated Re-housing Engagement Support Team (REST) in August 2018. These outreach staff work on the streets, engaging with rough sleepers with offers of accommodation and support.
In the coming year, we will use further funding from central government to develop the recently established ‘Safe Space’. This provides a basic shelter, along with rapid assessment and support for rough sleepers who choose not to engage with support services.
The city's multi-agency approach to dealing with rough sleeping is working.
The number of people sleeping rough was down from 37 in 2017 to 26 in November 2018 (with our unofficial ‘spotlight’ count in March 2019 finding only 7 individuals).
Working with Private Landlords
It is not possible to alleviate homelessness solely with social housing. As waiting lists increase and the turnover of properties reduces, we are increasingly looking to the private sector to help tackle the issue.
With funding from the government’s £20million Private Rented Sector Access fund, we're developing a new project working with private landlords to offer housing to homeless people. Following a successful pilot scheme, we now have the ability to expand the project, with the aim of creating 250 new tenancies within the private sector.
We work with around 224 households every month who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. Over half (53%) of these households are single individuals. The funding will mean we can prevent more evictions and rehouse those who do become homeless more quickly.
Attracting Government Attention
In January, the then Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP visited Derby. He came to see the positive outcomes of the work in the city and to speak to people who have experienced homelessness first-hand.
During the course of his visit, Mr. Brokenshire visited Milestone House, a 37-bed hostel managed by Derby Homes. Milestone provides temporary emergency accommodation for single people and couples aged over 18. Services include access to a community psychiatric nurse, drug and alcohol support, and specialist housing advice to support residents into long-term sustainable accommodation.
"Social housing provides a stable base that supports people when they need it."
We've operated as an arms-length management organisation (ALMO) of Derby City Council since 2002.
We were thrilled this year to be named Social Housing Provider of the Year 2018 in the Building Communities Awards, hosted by Efficiency East Midlands. For the first time, we were also listed in 24Housing Magazines Top 50 Landlords 2018, one of just five ALMOs to make the list!
We currently represent Midlands ALMOs on the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) Board, along with our colleagues at Nottingham City Homes. Our Managing Director, Maria Murphy, is now the Chair of the NFA’s Executive Steering Group, which advises their Board.
New Homes for Heroes
We’ve delivered 406 new, affordable homes since 2013, in partnership with Derby City Council. In 2018/19, we completed work on 52 homes.
We have also been chosen as the main building partner by War Memorial Village Derby (along with the Council) to build nine new bungalows for them, which will be constructed during 2019/20. This builds on our successful partnership over the last few years where Derby Homes has managed and maintained the homes in the village on behalf of the charity.
Supporting Vulnerable and Elderly Tenants in Their Homes
This year, we were recognised by the Derbyshire Dignity Awards for our achievements in supporting vulnerable tenants.
Our work supporting and engaging with the people living in our properties was praised by the Derby Adult Safeguarding Board and highlights how we work with tenants to enable them to live as independently as possible and still retain some control over their lives.
Parkland View, the Extra Care scheme that we manage on behalf of the Council, was also in the spotlight. It won a Gold Award at the Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) Awards 2019, being one of just 300 to have won a top prize out of almost 25,000 retirement housing schemes nationwide.
The scheme was also a finalist for Excellence in Engagement in Support and Care at the TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) Awards 2019. The staff at Parkland View work hard to ensure all residents feel involved with what’s going on. They support residents to have input into tenant surveys and other consultations taking place in the local area. There is also a weekly residents’ forum and over 30 activities that take place each month, including a film club, games sessions, day-trips, shared reading groups and a range of different exercise sessions.
Celebrating Local Volunteers
Each year we celebrate the contribution of our volunteers through an annual Volunteering Celebration. This was also our third year of taking part in National Volunteers Week, so we decided to make things a bit special by hosting an awards ceremony.
Over 100 volunteers attended and awards were given out for Best Group, Community Champion, Outstanding Contribution, Long-Standing Commitment and New Volunteer of the Year.
New Life for Community Rooms
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been working on a major refurbishment of all the community rooms we manage. We’re working our way around all 22 community rooms and giving them a spruce up. All rooms are being given a coat of paint and a general “freshen up”, but some are also getting brand new kitchens - like at Fairdene Court in Normanton and Whitecross House in the West End.
To celebrate, we’ve held relaunches at the first five rooms we completed and invited residents and community groups to join us.
Record fundraising for Glenn
We had our most successful year of fundraising in 2018/19 raising money for MNDA, the Motor Neurone Disease Association. There was added poignancy this year as one of our colleagues, Glenn Aughton, sadly passed away from the illness at the start of 2018.
From sponsored walks, to a fashion show, breakfast cob mornings, our annual golf day and culminating in a music quiz night supported by Glenn’s friends and closest colleagues, staff arranged and supported some fantastic events.
Glenn was well known for his generous and charitable nature; regularly donating his own time and effort to help renovate the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre in Skegness.
Staff raised £8,744 for MNDA: this has taken the total we’ve raised for charities since 2003 to over £65,000.
Improving Holidays for Derby Children
This was the twelfth year of our ongoing support for Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre in Skegness, a charity close to our hearts.
This year, our staff helped with preparation and works in fitting a new commercial kitchen, with funding from Buildbase for the building materials and a generous benefactor to the centre purchasing the fixtures, fittings and appliances. Our generous staff even contributed their own time, spending the whole week away from home and working long days to complete the kitchen.