Message from the Chair and Chief Executive

We’re a local, community-based housing association that’s here for the long-term. We’re passionate about doing and being the best that we can for the customers and neighbourhoods we serve. We're here to provide places where people want to live. Whether it’s for customers or employees, our goal is thriving communities.

We know these three years will be challenging. There's significant pressure on people’s ability to afford the everyday costs of living and, at the same time, a pressing need to tackle climate change and the housing crisis. We’ll support customers and communities while navigating an economic climate that will present difficulties for us too. We're ready to do the hard work and are committed to making a positive difference.

One way we’ll accomplish this is by working with others to achieve more. From local authorities to development partners and for-profit housing providers, together we can do a great deal. We’ll strive to increase our social impact whilst minimising our environmental impact. We’ll continue to meet our mission to help transform lives by providing great homes for everyone.

We know our strategy matches our customers’ priorities because we've asked them. 1,500 customers and other stakeholders told us what they want and have helped shape our approach. We’ll continue to work with them as we balance their priorities and our books over the next three years.

The overriding theme from the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper is about fairness. We understand that it isn’t just about the inequalities between the north and south of the country, but it’s also about the unaffordability of homes in the southeast. Locally, the external environment offers opportunity such as the planned new settlements and freeports as well as many of the Essex local authorities working together.

By working in partnership with other organisations, we’ll be able to add more than a new home a day. Our aim is to build or manage 1,500 additional affordable homes over the next three years and a growing number of 'zero carbon ready' homes. We’ll continue to work with Homes England, building on our track record of meeting housing need. 

But we’re not only focused on providing more new homes. It’s up to us to make sure that existing homes and neighbourhoods are well-maintained and meet high standards of landlord safety. We'll be involving customers more in how we work in their homes and investing nearly £70m to make sure they’re safe, warm, green and cost less to run.

We welcome the focus on the quality of service that customers are entitled to expect from their landlords outlined in the Government’s Social Housing White Paper. We’re committed to listening to and learning from customers. We want to be held to account when we get things wrong, and we want them to know how we’re performing. By empowering them, we'll improve the services we deliver.

To support our ambitions, we’ll be smart about how we use data to inform our decisions. We’ll continue to employ talented people and build a culture where all employees feel valued, included, and motivated. We’ll keep a strong focus on remaining financially well-managed in this challenging economic climate. We’ll also be a good corporate citizen, mindful of and reporting on our impact on society and the environment.

We recognise we have a huge job ahead of us, but we also know we're well placed to deliver. We’re excited to build on our success and collaborate more widely to achieve our ambitions. We look forward to playing our part in improving social housing in Essex for now and the future.

Nicola Sawford                                             Paul Edwards

Nicola Sawford, Chair of the Board              Paul Edwards, Chief Executive

Our Corporate Strategy  Delighting customers