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Building the Business

Greenfield Close CallingtonMore than Bricks and Mortar

Westward has an active and on-going development programme throughout the counties of Devon and Cornwall.

The Development team develops ‘new’ houses and flats for rent and low cost home ownership, with the active involvement of our many stakeholders.

We are in constant dialogue with Homes England, the local authorities in which we work, and of course our own customers and staff.

The Development Team can be reached on 0300 100 1011.

New residents deem Westward homes great quality

On average we build 150 homes every year and our housing stock has risen in the last year to 7,417 with properties being built throughout Devon and Cornwall in Totnes, Bideford, Paignton, Bude, Westward Ho!, Plymouth, St Austell, Liskeard, Bodmin, Porthtowan and Perranporth.

To ensure that the new homes meet residents’ expectations, we ask households to complete a survey 6 months after moving in. The satisfaction form we use is also used by a number of other housing associations so we can compare the results. 

We have just had our second annual benchmarking report which shows that Westward homes perform very favourably.  

Westward’s satisfaction rate is at 96%, 5% above the benchmark of 91%.  Only 2 of the 50 Westward residents who returned surveys were dissatisfied with the quality of their home. 

Residents are also asked to say what is more important to them in terms of their new homes.  The results are set out below, and again show that Westward performs well. Where there are direct questions in the survey, the results are given in the table.

Resident Priorities for New Homes

Rank in residents' priorities

Issue

Other housing associations %

Westward %

1

Feeling Safe

96

98

2

Internal size of home

92

96

3

Layout of home

93

98

4

Local area and facilities

 

 

4

Internal facilities (heating etc)

 

 

5

Appearance

98

98

5

Amount of Storage

71

71

6

Suffering from Noise

39

19

7

Garden

68

94

8

Layout of Estate

 

 

8

Defect Service

55

55

Overall Satisfaction

 

91

96

However, Westward does not claim to be perfect and there are three items where we score less than the benchmark:

  • Cycle Store.  These were removed from our specification last year as a cost saving measure. 
  • Bedroom cupboards – We do not provide built in cupboards in bedrooms as residents have told us in the past that they prefer to have the space where they can put their own furniture.
  • Vinyl Flooring.  The quality and ability to keep clean is not what it should be and we are investigating a different product.

Although defects resolution is not the highest priority for residents, it is felt that this is an area where we could improve and we are liaising with our contractors on this issue.

The results show that the satisfaction with the homes we provide is very high.  We also know through an analysis of our costs that these are lower than most other housing associations, so we are also achieving value for money.

 

The Asset Management team looks after the assets developed by the Development team.  We have a continuous programme of investment into our properties.

We work continually to improve our service to residents in our properties, and have adopted procurement arrangements to ensure efficiency and value for money in all areas of our work.  Our aim is to maintain the high standard of resident satisfaction with their home, even when it is no longer 'new'.

Horizon Homes is the commercial housebuilding arm of Westward.  This company develops homes for sale and profits generated are used to provide more affordable housing.

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