Home Group celebrates 80th anniversary of changing lives through housing



Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson

One of the UK’s largest affordable housing providers is set to place its customers and clients at the heart of celebrations marking its 80th anniversary.

During the next 12 months Home Group, which was established in December 1935, will highlight the differences it has made to the lives of customers and clients by giving them a platform to tell their personal stories.

The social enterprise will also highlight the work it does in working with government and industry bodies to influence the future direction of housing policy and care and support provision.

Mark Henderson, Home Group chief executive, said: “It is a really exciting time for Home Group, not only are we still going strong after 80 years, we remain committed to our vision of providing people in need, quality homes and services, now and in the future.

“To celebrate we are capturing our customers, clients and colleagues stories on film and will be sharing these throughout the year.  Our customers and clients are the reason we do what we do and they have astounding personal stories to tell, all relating to how housing and housing services have made a real difference to their lives.  Whether that has meant an end to being homeless, in need of support to live independently when elderly or providing a supportive family environment for young people.”

With a turnover of over £325 million and assets of £2.6 billion, the organisation has a portfolio of over 55,000 homes across 200 local authorities and houses over 120,000 customers across England, Scotland and Wales.

Founded in the 1930’s by an Act of Parliament and in response to a severe housing problem in the North East, Home Group, then known as the North Eastern Housing Association, has gone from strength to strength and is a formidable force within the housing sector. With recent Government changes to housing; commitment to the building of affordable homes, Right to Buy and shared ownership amongst key issues; together with welfare reforms impacting tenants, Mr Henderson will reflect on this market-leading social enterprise and charity’s achievements, and its future mission.

Over the decades the organisation has taken innovative steps towards change and through a series of acquisition and mergers, and following a 50 year foothold in the North of England, went on to expand throughout Southern England and Scotland, reflecting changes and demands in both economic and social growth.

In a sector which has witnessed uncertainty in recent years as the funding for care and support services seem as undefined today as it did 40 years ago and where key issues such as homelessness, unemployment and lack of affordable housing remain on the Government’s agenda as much as they did 80 years ago.

Mr Henderson, joined in 2008 and is one of only seven chief executives during its 80 year long history.

He said: “During Home Group’s 80 year history, the organisation has grown and changed in response to adapting to new challenges and policies. We are genuinely excited about what the future has to bring and the possibilities that present themselves to us as we adapt to meet the demands of a changing environment. Today, we continue to be at the forefront of developments in housing policy helping to shape the housing agenda.

“Our core social purpose remains to help those who most need it, be it families or individuals who require social housing, or vulnerable people who require specialist services to support their journey back to independence.

“Through Stonham, our care and support division which we brought on board in the late 1990s, we work with more than 30,000 vulnerable people with supported housing, justice and health services, that’s over 500 services across 200 local authorities providing high quality social care through working in partnership with councils, NHS trusts and other partners.

“To support these services, we also build homes for outright sale.  This means we are also able to support first time buyers in taking their first step onto the property ladder through various schemes.

Significantly, Home Group achieved 92 per cent satisfaction from customers and 94 per cent satisfaction from clients and part of this success is due to the strong partnership working with a range of stakeholders and projects such as the Fair Chance Fund, Inspiring Futures and the rewarding Home Achievement Programme.

“We remain committed to our vision of helping our customers and clients to open doors to new opportunities and healthy lives. This will be achieved through our continued provision of a wide range of quality, affordable homes for both rent and for sale as well as our housing services offering. Whilst our scale has changed substantially over the years our values around supporting people in housing need have remained constant and at the centre of our organisation,” concludes Mark Henderson.

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