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.

From influencing national policy relating to energy efficiency and raising the profile of shared ownership as a mainstream housing tenure, to improving policy and practice around welfare and child poverty through our Happy, Healthy Starts campaign. We work closely with Government and stakeholders to improve the lives of our customers and communities.

How will the retrofit programme to achieve net zero carbon impact customers?

The UK Government’s 2050 net zero carbon target places significant challenges on housing with 80% of homes that will exist in 2050 having already been built today. Therefore, Orbit faces a long-term challenge to retrofit existing housing stock through cost effective and innovative means.

With increasing developments and trials in retrofit technology but limited research into how these changes will impact people living within these homes, Orbit commissioned a research project with the University of Leeds to investigate how the decarbonisation retrofit programme will impact its customers in situ.

This report provides a summary of the findings and recommendations from that research on how we can best support our customers through the decarbonisation of their homes. We will be using this as a guideline to engaging with our customers throughout the retrofitting process, so not only do we achieve the goal of becoming net zero carbon, but also deliver the best service possible to our customers.

View the executive summary for the report

Read the full report

Working with customers to make net zero carbon a reality

There are difficult and complex environmental challenges that face us all in accelerating the decarbonisation of UK homes, but to date there has been little consideration of what the impact is for customers.

Many of the changes required will involve substantial costs, with home buyers, owners, landlords and the Government facing the cost of higher new home standards and of retrofitting, whilst customers face the potential for increased costs to heat their homes. There is a real challenge ahead to meet these competing demands.

Working alongside the Chartered Institute of Housing, we gathered the views of 900 customers to help us understand our social rented households’ priorities around the net zero carbon agenda, as well as to examine what matters to them in relation to their environment.

This study, which is one of the first in-depth pieces of work of its kind, underlines that working collaboratively and engaging our customers throughout the course of this process is fundamental to the net zero carbon transformation. The findings and recommendations made offer invaluable insight into how the sector can work towards decarbonisation plans whilst ensuring customers are at the forefront of the decision-making process. 

Read the full report

Warm homes and a safe environment

Orbit has worked in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to outline how government and the housing sector can work together to tackle climate change.

Housing is a vital part of this challenge because 14 per cent of emissions come directly from energy used in building our homes and living in them and more still is affected by our housing decisions.

Tackling draughty housing also has other benefits. Cold homes cause ill health, so homes that are warmer and less costly to heat are healthier. Poor housing, including cold homes, is estimated to cost the NHS £2.5 billion annually in extra treatment.

For the UK, decarbonising the housing stock is a crucial element in our national effort and one in which the country’s social landlords have a fundamental role to play. To succeed, we need the right technological solutions, financing options and a robust policy framework to be in place.

In this joint briefing we re-establish the case for urgent action, reviewing what’s been achieved and setting out what still needs to be done.

Read the full report

Debt advice that pays

Orbit provides free and confidential debt advice available to every customer. We are the first housing association to partner with PayPlan to provide a telephone and online service. We know the engagement rate is high, as is customer satisfaction. But how do know it is worth the investment in terms of outcomes?

We have carried out a randomised controlled trial (RCT) on the service, as well as measuring the customer and business outcomes. The results demonstrate that debt advice does pay and our finding are invaluable reading for the sector.

Read our Debt Advice Does Pay Report

Read our report on using an RCT

A better employment offer

Orbit provides an employment support offer available to all of our customers as well as to the wider community. Despite a strong performance to date we recognise that the world of work is changing and will continue to change rapidly. We, and the wider employment support sector, will have to adapt to become fit for the future.

That is why we commissioned the Learning & Work Institute to undertake comprehensive research into how the world of work will be changing and what this means for us, and the wider sector, as a provider of employment support services that are fit for the future.

Read our Fit For the Future report

Read our foreword to the report
Happy Healthy Starts

Happy, Healthy Starts

In 2018 we launched our Happy, Healthy Starts campaign in conjunction with Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) to identify practical ways for landlords to help tackle poverty for young people.

We provide homes to over 16,000 people under the age of 16, of which an estimated 4,000 are growing up in a low income household.

Through working with children and parents living in our homes, we identified a number of simple practical changes housing providers can make to improve the lives of young people. We also worked with government to advise them on improvements that they could make to the administration of Universal Credit and reduce hardship for many, thousands of families.

Read the full report
Warm homes report front page

Warm Homes, Better Lives

In 2016, we launched our ‘Warm Homes, Better Lives’ report in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to outline key recommendations for government in tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency of the country’s housing stock.

Across England, there are 2.3million households living in fuel poverty, 10.4% of all households. 

At its core, fuel poverty is a cost of living issue, with many families having to choose between heating their home and feeding their family.

The report sets out how government, together with housing, health and third sector partners, can take a comprehensive approach to tackling fuel poverty and ensure that all homes reach Energy Band C by 2030.

Read the full report