Coronavirus Update

We continue to focus on the priorities of customer safety, protecting employees and business resilience. Please read here for our latest position. For customer information, please visit our dedicated coronavirus webpage.

Social impact

As a leading developer of affordable homes, we have contributed nearly 11,000 new homes to UK housing growth since 2013, and we are passionate about building thriving communities where everyone can live in a good value, high quality home.

Our strategic partnership with Homes England provides £129 million grant funding to build an additional 2,762 new affordable homes to be in development by 2022.

We provide housing to over 100,000 people and our ‘Our Customer Promise’ puts our customers at the heart of what we do. Through our Customer and Communities Board, customer focus groups and online feedback forums, we ensure that our customers have a voice that is listened to.

 

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Placemaking in Tanyard Farm

Our Customer Promise

Our customer promise has been designed in collaboration with customers with a clear purpose to help our customers and our communities to thrive.

We want our customers to play a bigger role in the key decision making that affects their communities, and to contribute opinions and ideas on our services as we look to improve and develop them.

Our customer promise reinforces this and contains four clear commitments: delivering an excellent customer experience; providing high quality safe and sustainable homes; bringing positive change to places and communities; and working together for a Better Day.

It prioritises safety and value for money, whilst also addressing environmental challenges around making our homes more energy efficient. We are committed to being inclusive and valuing the diversity of the communities that we work in and we will continue to deliver support with wellbeing and independence for each and every one of our customers.

Investing in communities

We are more than a landlord and housing provider and our profit for a purpose ethos enables us to invest in our communities to make a positive difference to people's lives. Since 2013, we have invested £24.6 million (around £4 million per year) back into our communities.

Since July 2019 our employees have contributed over 3,027 hours’ worth of volunteering time. Our employees have painted, decorated, planted and litter-picked their way to supporting our local communities.

We continue to support a number of national and local charities with their work including MIND, Shelter, Macmillan Cancer Support and Prostate Cancer Awareness UK and have raised over £45,000 for these worthy causes. Our employee match-funding scheme also provides the opportunity to support charities that are close to the hearts of our employees.

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Supporting our customers and communities

Community impact

A key element of Orbit’s social impact, and central to its vision of building thriving communities, is delivered through its Better Days programme. Better Days offers support and advice to our customers through the delivery of a range services that aim to address barriers aid choice and independence. Working with customers and partners, we have developed programmes promoting employment and skills, digital support, wellbeing and financial advice.

In 2018 we co-founded the Community Impact Partnership (CIP) with three other registered providers (Clarion, L&Q and Peabody) to offer social investment funding. The CIP supports social enterprises by providing investment funding and creating growth opportunities for businesses with a social purpose at their heart and widens the social impact that we can create across our neighbourhoods.

Earlier this year, we announced a new business partnership with Supply Change, an online platform which acts as a digital marketplace to connect public sector organisations who need goods and services with social suppliers who can deliver quality and a positive impact.

The platform allows the tender of the contract to align their values with the way that they conduct their business and increase social value within their supply chain. We are supporting Supply Change with both investment and continued non-financial support in the form of access to our own procurement team to test its product and put forward social enterprises for contract opportunities.

Together with Tenants

We are committed to delivering excellent customer service and for our customers to clearly understand how we, as the landlord, are managing their homes and communities for them, which is why we are an official adopter of the Together with Tenants Charter.

Launched by the National Housing Federation (NHF), Together with Tenants sets out to strengthen the relationship between residents and housing providers and embodies all the great work happening across the sector to create positive relationships with customers.

Through this, Together with Tenants has developed a four-point plan, including a new charter that sets out in clear terms what residents can and should expect from their landlord, with responsibilities on both sides of the relationship.

We spent 12 months working in partnership with Together with Tenants, the National Housing Federation and our customers to test out the charter and are a full adopter of the scheme.

Find out more about Together with Tenants and the Together with Tenants Charter.  

Working to end homelessness

We believe that everyone is entitled to a good quality home that they can afford, in a place that they are proud to live. It’s been our mission since we were founded in 1967, and everything we do works to support this.

The number of rough sleepers and people threatened with homelessness is increasing. It’s a major problem and one which we are serious about working with our local authority partners to address.

Wherever possible, we sustain a tenancy and support our customers with access to dedicated advice about managing money, finding work, getting online and much more, including:

  • Free debt advice through our partnership with Payplan
  • Dedicated employment support to help customers find work or improve career prospects
  • Mental wellbeing support to help address stress, anxiety, isolation and other issues

But we need to do more. That is why we have signed up to the National Housing Federation’s Commitment to refer, an obligation to refer anyone to a local authority if they are homeless or threatened with homelessness,  supporting the aims of the Homelessness Reduction Act. 

National campaigns

Our work doesn’t stop there. We campaign on national issues affecting our customers, from accessing the housing market to challenging welfare reform. Our Happy Healthy Starts campaign has seen Orbit tackle child poverty, influence welfare policy and work with housing providers across the country to introduce practical changes to improve support for families.

We work with MPs, local authorities, think-tanks and national charities to ensure that the customer really is at the heart of everything we do.

You can find out more about our national campaigns here.