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.

Good housing is the key

We believe that a laser focus from government on housing is the key to a better economic outcome, safer communities and a healthier nation. But to achieve that we need government support.

We’re therefore calling on Government to work with the sector to deliver seven key asks in the next five years to set housing up to deliver long-term change and success.

Read our briefing

Cost of living: how is it affecting customers?

We know that the cost-of-living crisis continues to place additional strain on many customers. Not only has the number of people that need our support increased over the past year, but the number of issues that individuals are facing have increased too with the cost-of-living crisis having wide ranging impacts on customers’ mental and physical health as well as their ability to pay bills.

In response, we’ve introduced a number of new services as part of our Better Days programme to help customers manage their finances, maximise their income and reduce the pressure of cost-of-living increases.

But to make sure we’re focussing on the areas where customers need most support, we wanted a much deeper understanding of how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting their everyday lives.

That’s why we’ve conducted our first piece of in-depth research with the help of 800 representative renters and owners whose feedback will be pivotal in developing our services and ensuring that we’re targeting our investment in a way that has maximum impact and helps people to sustain their tenancies and maintain their wellbeing.

View the findings

2500 days - Navigating the path to net zero carbon homes with our customers

18 months on from the publication of our joint report with the Chartered Institute of Housing – Working with customers to make net zero carbon a reality – we find ourselves in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, where energy prices have rocketed to unprecedented levels for consumers and businesses alike.

This sets ambitious net zero targets in a new context. Consequently, it is more important than ever to keep talking to our customers about this important and complex issue, to find out how the events of the past year have affected their opinions and behaviours.

And the result is our second net zero carbon report – 2500 days. Because that’s about how long our sector has left to meet our first big milestone on the journey to net zero – ensuring every home achieves an EPC rating of C or above.

Engaging our customers in our net zero aligned activities is crucial to achieving this goal. However, from talking to over 700 hundred households, it is clear that awareness and understanding of net zero carbon has not increased significantly among social housing residents since our first report. It is therefore crucial that we use these findings to ensure that the journey to net zero carbon is personal and relevant to our customers.

Read the full report

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

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