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More affordable housing provided in the shadow of the Malvern Hills

Platform Housing Group have officially opened another development in Malvern to provide affordable housing for local residents.

The site at Charlock Road was officially opened today with new resident Deborah McGhee joining dignitaries and Platform staff to tour the site and conduct the ceremony.

In total there are 63 new dwellings, ranging from rented accommodation to shared ownership houses, some of which have solar panels on the roof and electric points installed allowing the charging of electric cars.

The social landlord already manages the Nightingale Road and Pickersleigh Grove developments in the area, with the latter being nominated for an award at the Inside Housing Development Awards in November.

Also in attendance was Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, who commented: “I was delighted to tour this new development and see so many wonderful new homes with views of the Malvern Hills.

“Malvern is one of the least affordable places to live in the West Midlands, so it is important that projects like this give local people a chance to live in a beautiful part of the world near to where they work.

“I was pleased to see that many of the homes have solar panels and potential for electric vehicle charging points as we work towards making our community more carbon neutral.

“I want to congratulate Platform Housing and the developers, Countryside, on this impressive new build project.”

Elizabeth Froude, Group Chief Executive at Platform said,

“Platform’s vision of enabling access to beautiful and affordable housing for as many residents as possible is brough to life in this development. The Malvern area is an important part of our heartland and this is one of several developments we are delivering in the area.”

“This achievement requires the collaboration of good partners including Malvern Hills District Council, Homes England and Countryside who have all  worked with us to overcome the many challenges of building new homes during a time of unprecedented events and I would like to sincerely thank them all.”

Daniel McGowan, Chief Executive of Countryside, Midlands, added: “There is always a great sense of pride that accompanies a development opening, giving us a time to reflect on our collective achievements with our partners and the difference the new homes will make to the lives of local people. The year has presented a number of challenges to our industry and I’m very proud of the team’s hard work to strive for uncompromising standards in creating this exceptional new community in Malvern.”

The ceremony falls during Platform’s Communities Connected month, which has seen them organise events and sessions aimed at benefitting local people. Staff and volunteers have taken part in litter picks at various locations in the town and will help out with digital training lessons and information sessions about online scam awareness.

Platform owns over 46,000 homes across the Midlands and recently was shortlisted at the UK Housing Awards for Homebuilder of the Year, recognising the work they do to build communities as well as houses.

Read More affordable housing provided in the shadow of the Malvern Hills…

National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2021

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place on October 9 - 16, 2021.

It aims to promote awareness about what a hate crime is and how everyone can help to stamp it out by challenging it and reporting it.

You can find out more about what a hate crime is and what a hate incident is, how to report it and FAQs here www.stophateuk.org there is even a reporting app in some areas.

As a housing association we are supporting the campaign to help raise awareness and our Communities and Neighbourhoods team work with partners across the Midlands including Police and Community Safety Partnerships to tackle incidents. Since June, there has been a reported 22 hate crimes across the Midlands and unfortunately this number continues to rise.

Here's a video on how the Police define a hate incident and a hate crime https://vimeo.com/321709338

#NationalHCAW #spreadlovenothate #WeStandTogether #NoPlaceForHate #disability #race #religion #transgenderidentity #SexualOrientation #discrimination #Threat #genderidentity #abuse

Read National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2021…

Platform Housing Group announces three new senior appointments

Platform Housing Group - one of the UK’s largest social landlords – has appointed Samantha Evans as Head of Strategic Asset Management; Martin Woods as Head of External Contracts and Stephen Edwards as Head of Sustainability.

The roles – which are all new within the organisation - are part of an ongoing development of the business area.

As the new Head of Strategic Asset Management, Samantha Evans’ role is to develop operational plans to future proof Platform homes; she will also be responsible for asset performance evaluation, identifying risks and areas of low performance and developing strategies and standards to address these.  Sam will head up a team that is responsible for monitoring the condition of Platform’s homes and planning for the improvements that are needed to keep them safe, affordable and desirable for our customers. 

Prior to joining Platform, Samantha was Asset Manager at Citizen Housing for 14 years.

Samantha said: “I am delighted to join Platform at this stage of its journey to deliver an ambitious programme of change. My aim is to implement an integrated active asset management approach which will place Platform as the ‘go to’ organisation for the service. Having spent my career in social housing, I am passionate about the impact our sector has on improving our customers lives. I see asset management as much more than just bricks and mortar; it is about providing our customers with desirable, safe and affordable homes, a foundation for life. Our duty is to manage our assets by being socially motivated and commercially minded in order to re-invest surpluses into delivering our social purpose and improving the life chances of our customers.”

Martin Woods – who has joined Platform Housing Group as Head of External Contracts – was previously Head of Asset Management at Lincolnshire Housing Partnership where he was responsible for planned maintenance, building safety, asset management as well as development and sales delivery.  In his new role, Martin will head up a team responsible for the delivery of maintenance work that is not delivered by Platform Property Care.

Martin said: “It is such an exciting time to be joining Platform; the asset team is at the beginning of a journey that looks set to impact significantly on the way we work and deliver services to our customers.  Social housing is more important than ever, as the population continues to grow and people find it increasingly difficult to purchase a home outright. Our role is to drive up the quality of social housing as much as possible to create communities where people want to live and feel safe. I am looking forward to playing my part and making a difference.”

The social landlord has also appointed Stephen Edwards as Head of Sustainability; previously employed at Catalyst Housing Limited as Sustainability Manager, this new role at Platform will see Stephen developing a sustainability strategy for the Group, identifying opportunities for decarbonising its homes and supporting the implementation of green and emerging technologies.

Stephen said: “It is a privilege to be here at Platform supporting our journey to zero carbon and creating a more sustainable future. I have always had a passion for the environment and have been embedding sustainable thinking into my work for more than 25 years. The challenge of achieving net zero carbon is huge and probably the most important challenge of our lifetimes. I look forward to helping Platform become a leading sustainable organisation.”

Linda Colburn, Director of Strategic Asset Management at Platform Housing Group said: “We are thrilled to welcome Martin, Stephen and Sam to Platform.  They bring a depth and breadth of expertise in asset management, delivery and sustainability that will allow us to redraw the traditional way the sector sees asset management into a much more integrated approach. They will be integral in helping set the Platform Standard from development stage onwards as well as co-designing our investment interventions with our customers.  Their expertise will allow us to map out our path to zero carbon and integrate that into our investment programmes and how we manage the estate; understanding how our homes impact our customers to deliver to them increased safety, affordability, utility and pride.”

Linda concluded: “We have created these roles to provide the additional focus needed to become a truly modern assets function in a truly modern housing association. The central pillars of building safety, strategic asset management, investment, delivery and sustainability will each be led by a Head of Service, forming an integrated team with a holistic view of how we improve the value of our homes to customers and achieve the highest standards of asset management.”

Read Platform Housing Group announces three new senior appointments…

Platform to speak at October asset management conference

The new Head of Strategic Asset Management at Platform Housing Group will be speaking at a National Housing Federation event next month.

Samantha Evans from Platform will speak at the NHF’s Asset Management and Maintenance Conference on Tuesday 12 October.

Presenting alongside real estate company Savills in one of the breakout sessions on the subject of ‘Understanding your stock data and performance’, Samantha will be presenting as a client practitioner with a co-speaker from Notting Hill Genesis.

The presentation will focus on:

  • Undertaking property assessments and data management including whole life carbon assessment;

  • Dealing with hard to heat properties;

  • Options for un-investable stock and how this may affect disposal decisions.

Samantha Evans, Head of Strategic Asset Management at Platform Housing Group said: “I am pleased to have an opportunity to share Platform Housing’s approach to active asset management, implementing an asset performance model which will help to assess the impact of retrofitting homes to tackle climate change. I look forward to sharing an innovative heating upgrade project in one of our high rise buildings; the really positive thing about this project is it demonstrates how retrofitting homes can reduce both residents’ energy bills and carbon emissions.”

As seen on Housing Digital here 

For more information about the conference please click here.

Read Platform to speak at October asset management conference…

New Head of Programme at Platform

Platform has appointed a new Head of Programme following an ongoing restructure.

Platform Property Care – a subsidiary of Platform Housing Association – has welcomed Lee Duty as part of a reorganisation which will see five new Heads of Service join the team.

In his new role, Lee will be responsible for the completion of investment works including kitchen, bathroom and re-roof renewal works to Platform’s existing housing stock.

Lee – who lives in Barnsley – has joined the company from City of York Council where he worked as the Planned and Cyclical Maintenance Manager, responsible for capital works and the electrical and gas sections.

Lee said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as a Head of Service to lead the Programme works team.  I feel very proud to work for one of the UK’s largest associations. I am looking forward to improving processes, driving efficiencies and increasing performance. As an organisation we are ambitious in our aims to provide a sector leading service.”

Lee began his career in housing as an apprentice in 2005 at Berneslai Homes, where he worked his way up to become an Operations Manager in 2012; he holds a number of management qualifications including an NVQ Level 7 in Construction Senior Management.

Lee concluded: “Having grown up on a council estate, I understand the importance that social housing provides within communities. Investing sufficiently in our housing stock is vital to ensure that our customers have a home to be proud of.”

Marc Mayall, Director of Operations at Platform Housing Group said: “We would like to welcome Lee to the team; he brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and commercial acumen. With Lee in post, we will be in a stronger position to deliver even more much needed new homes across the country.”

Read New Head of Programme at Platform…

Kitchen and bathroom refurbishments for customers

Platform has completed a kitchen and bathroom refurbishment programme in Malvern.

This includes improvement works to 39 kitchens, 3 partial bathroom refurbishments as well as redecorating shared hallways in 20 communal flats.

The project took place at Malvern View which is made up of 20 communal flats which act as temporary accommodation for doctors and nurses; there are also 5 houses for doctors and nurses and their families as well as 13 self contained flats and a student common room.

The hospital staff accommodation was identified as needing a full refurbishment as the original kitchens had been in place for 20 years.

The refurbishment programme cost £250,000 and was funded by Platform’s programmed maintenance budget.

The refurbishment programme was carried out jointly by Platform Housing Group and Rooftop Housing Group; the floor installations were delivered by building supply firm, CCF.  The accommodation is managed by Rooftop Housing Group.

Mark Lane, QESH Manager at Platform Housing Group said: “We are so pleased with the refurbishment programme at Malvern View; the works were logistically complex, offering a mixture of family doctor accommodation, on call rooms and shared units adjacent to a busy hospital site.  The hospital has all the challenges normally associated with a busy hospital and this was compounded by the COVID pandemic. We are delighted with the outcome as are the residents and their families; the kitchens look bright and airy with new built-in appliances to complete the modern look.”

The works also included the conversion of a kitchen to a temporary communal laundry room for residents use whilst the refurbishment was underway.

Emily Brown, Rooftop Housing Group’s Accommodation Officer at Malvern View said: “It has been a great team effort to ensure this project ran smoothly; this allowed us to effectively manage the installations as well as keep the residents informed and deal with any issues that arose both swiftly and efficiently.  We would like to thank all those involved and hope those who live there enjoy their refurbished spaces.”

Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19).  The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.

Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.

Rooftop Housing Group own more than 7000 homes in South Worcestershire and North Gloucestershire and manage key worker accommodation at hospitals in Worcestershire, Shropshire and Somerset.

Read Kitchen and bathroom refurbishments for customers…

Portal Accounts Page is Back!

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Balance & Transaction page

 

Following feedback from our customers around the rents transaction & balance page missing on our Customer portal, (Your Platform) we have managed to create a fix in the interim and are really pleased this is now live!

You will now be able to:

•             Review the balance of your account

•             Review recent transactions including charges and payments made

•             Make a payment

•             Set up and amend a Direct Debit

There is further work we need to make to this page, which we are working on in the background to provide and will be sharing this with you shortly.  We are also looking to improve the overall look and feel of the transaction & balance page including clearer transactions and charges/payments made to help you manage your account.

Thank you for your patience whilst we worked on this.

Read Portal Accounts Page is Back!…

Strategic Partner relationship continues with Homes England

Homes England have announced that Platform will continue as a Strategic Partner

We've once again been chosen as a Strategic Partner of Homes England as part of the Government's Affordable Housing Programme.

It means we'll receive £250m of grant funding to help with the delivery of housing in the Midlands for the next three years as well as supporting the work we do with customers and our communities.

The money will help with the construction of over 4,500 homes as part of our longer term strategy to build 12,000 by 2026 and will help us carry on with schemes such as the WellBeing fund and The Foyer in Malvern.

Housing associations and developers were allowed to submit bids for a share of the £8.6bn that the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government was handing out. Out of the 31 entities that were successful, Platform is one of only five that were given the full £250m grant.

Our Director of Programme, Helen Newbury said: “We are delighted to be able to continue as a Strategic Partner with Homes England.  The support is crucial in aiding our delivery of much needed affordable housing across the Midlands. It also helps us continue to build on our skills and capabilities to deliver on the objectives we’ve set ourselves around sustainability, innovation, design and quality. Most importantly, it means we can continue to deliver for  our communities and ensure the customer remains at the heart of everything we do.” 

 

Gerraint Oakley, who is our Executive Director of Growth and Development said: “I’m really pleased we can continue the relationship. Alongside the homes we can deliver, it means we can increase our collaborative work.  Our relationships with local authorities, national and regional developers through joint venture and partnership opportunities have been vital to our success in the last few years and will continue to be as we progress with our strategy to build 12,000 homes by 2026.” 

Read Strategic Partner relationship continues with Homes England…
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