Orkney HA on track to build milestone 1,000th home

Association Chairman, John Rodwell
Association Chairman, John Rodwell

Orkney Housing Association Ltd (OHAL) completed 16 new homes last year and is in track to complete 54 more houses this year, including its 1,000th new home, the Association’s AGM has heard.

The Association is also continuing to invest in its staff at the same time as maintaining, improving and expanding its housing stock throughout the county.

That was the upbeat assessment from Association Chairman, John Rodwell, as he launched the 2015-16 Annual Report and looked forward to a year in which OHAL’s 1000th property will be completed.

Speaking at the Association’s AGM , Mr Rodwell highlighted the contribution of the staff and residents who continue to influence the direction of the Association.

Mr Rodwell recognised the hard work of the staff throughout a full restructure under the new Chief Executive, Craig Spence, with the intention of providing a better experience for customers when contacting the Association.

He told the audience at Orkney College: “It’s been such a busy year in which, along with all the usual development and letting work, we have made some significant changes to the structure of the Association which is settling in and I hope that our customers are able to see the benefits of being able contact staff directly.”

Alongside the substantial changes, the Association have been developing their Resident Panel to produce a report on the repairs service.

“We’ve been working closely with our Resident Panel and look forward to receiving their first scrutiny report, they are doing a fantastic job of taking a good look at the repairs service and making recommendations,” said Mr Rodwell.

Investment in staff was evident with the success of award-winning Modern Apprentices, Emma Barton and Leanne Omand, and the fact that the Association has now been shortlisted as Employer of the Year in Scotland for its role in mentoring the pair. Also showing the Association in a good light as an employer was the fact that Katherine Skea, Finance Officer, was to receive a long service award for 20 years.

On the property development side Mr Rodwell highlighted that over the past year there had been 16 new completions, while another 54 properties were due to be built in the present year, including what will be the 1000th home built by Orkney Housing Association Ltd.

“That will be an event worthy of a party I reckon,” he concluded.

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