Housing for Women is a registered charity, a company limited by guarantee and a registered housing provider.
Company Registration no: 420651
Homes and Communities Agency no: L0970
Registered Charity no: 211351
Housing for Women is a not-for-profit organisation, any surpluses it makes are ploughed back into it’s work. It is run by a voluntary board of Directors who receive no money for their services. The day to day management of the Association is carried out by a team of 50 paid staff, supported by volunteers.
- Governance and staffing
The Association currently has a Board of nine Directors, covering a broad range of skills and expertise. The Board has undertaken an extensive governance review, which includes individual Board member and Chair appraisal and review of its collective performance. There are two Committees: Remuneration and Audit and two standing Working Groups covering Supported Housing and Diversity and Equalities. The latter comprises Board members, tenants and staff and monitors the Association’s activities to ensure compliance and best practice in equal opportunities. The work of the Association is undertaken by a well-qualified, experienced staff team, numbering 47. HfW encourages staff to improve their qualifications and sponsors professional training. The Association holds Investors in People and Housing Diversity Network accreditation and has been awarded the Disability Tick symbol for its recruitment and employment practices. HfW provides a formal volunteer programme, providing work experience to assist women in gaining jobs or returning to work. We also run a volunteer programme providing assistance to the supported housing projects.
- Services to residents
HfW is committed to excellence in its provision of services and has a customer centred approach in all its work, utilising tenant feedback and surveys, customer service reviews and an active tenants’ panel to ensure continuous improvement of services. We are continually working with our tenants to enhance their involvement in the management of the Association and to develop effective tenant scrutiny of our services. This is a key plank of the current business. Some of our tenants are also engaged in a federal model of scrutiny with four housing association partners also working in London. HfW has endorsed the National Housing Federation’s Code of Service Delivery and its campaign ‘In Business for Neighbourhoods’. Our priorities reflect the commitments to neighbourhoods, customers and excellence.
- Our properties
HfW operates in eight boroughs in three broad areas of London:
- North West (Ealing and Hounslow);
- Central (Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Westminster); and
- South East (Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark).
We have a rolling annual programme of major repairs and renewals, based on a 30-year stock condition survey. We implemented an accelerated programme to bring all of our stock up to the Government’s Decent Homes Standard in 2009. The maintenance service consistently achieves high standards for performance and cost effectiveness and the Association has achieved the BSI ISO 2001 quality assurance accreditation for its maintenance services. Sustainability issues have risen up the agenda in the past years and we not only wish to reduce carbon emissions in our properties, but to undertake cost efficient energy saving measures for the benefit of our tenants.
- Partnership working
We acknowledge that in all our activities we can achieve more through effective partnerships with other organisations. For example:
• Our development activity is characterised by strategic partnerships with larger housing providers such as: London and Quadrant Group, A2Dominion Group and Circle;
• We run our Re-Unite project for women ex-offenders in close collaboration with Commonweal Housing;
• Our volunteer programme is supported by Working Chance;
• We co-operate with four housing association partners in the South London Federation of Small Housing Associations (SoLFed), which was first set up in 1995 to facilitate the partner associations in providing good quality housing and services;
• Our recent development in Lewisham was shared with two of our SoLfed partners – New World Housing Association and Southwark and London Diocesan Housing Association; and
• Our Re-Place trafficking project has close links with the Medaille Trust and the Poppy Project.
With each partner contributing their own particular skills and expertise, we see partnership working as a way of enhancing our services to our customers and maximising our impact.