Our vision and plan
To make the very best use of our resources so we can provide new affordable homes and a fair deal for existing residents.
At Paradigm, we provide over 14,000 affordable homes for rent and for sale across the South East and London.
Housing is getting more and more expensive, year on year. This means that finding an affordable and secure home is a struggle for an increasing number of households.
Our main goal is to always provide affordable homes to those who need them the most. This could be renting a home at less than the market rate or buying a home as a shared owner where you can’t afford to buy outright.
As a charitable organisation, the surplus we make is ploughed back into building new homes – our new Corporate Plan sets out our intention to build 600 new homes a year for rent and sale. Our mission is to help more people have a home they can afford as well as provide support to the communities where we work through the Paradigm Foundation.
Our recent G1,V1 rating from the Regulator means we meet all governance requirements and have the financial capacity to deal with a wide range of adverse scenarios.
We were particularly praised for our strong financial performance, having a clear focus on health and safety and a grip on value for money.
This puts us in a good position to deliver our Corporate Plan.
Make the best use of our resources
By doing better deals with our suppliers and managing contracts better, we have saved £1 million. We’ll make further savings of at least a £1 million a year for each year of this plan.
We have arranged new financing with excellent terms which will provide us with the funds to build new homes and allow us to use fewer existing homes as security for those loans.
Our in-house property maintenance and repairs team carry out most of the non-specialist work on our tenants’ homes, keeping them safe and in good condition. We will find ways of improving our efficiency so that we give our tenants a better repairs service at lower cost.
Our staff need digital tools so that they are better able to deliver good service. We will invest in new technology and processes which enable our staff to spend more time helping our customers and less time fixing problems or doing unnecessary admin.
We have donated more than £1 million over the last 5 years to Paradigm Foundation to support individuals and community projects in the neighbourhoods where we work. We plan to continue donating up to 2% of our surplus each year to support services for our tenants and neighbourhoods including money advice services, community facilities, support services and grants to individuals for education, training and employment.
Building new homes
We will build on average at least 600 homes per year for those who are unable to afford the full market cost of housing. Our plan is to build affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in roughly equal proportions, meaning we will be building a greater proportion for rent than we have done in recent years.
Paradigm will continue to focus its development in areas where we already work, mainly in the Home Counties regions north and west of London and in NW London itself. We value the relationships we have with local authority partners and it is our intention to strengthen these relationships and work more closely with them to build the affordable homes that they have made provision for in Local Plans.
Our aim is to take on more control and ownership of new housing developments, right through from the purchase of land, securing planning permission and managing the construction process.
This will require a wider range of skills which means recruiting more expert staff, but it also means that we will retain more of the value generated by development and get better homes as a result. We will be looking harder at where we already own land that we could redevelop for additional new homes.
We build homes for people to live in, whether they are renting or buying from us. This plan, and our Development Strategy, emphasise the need for a clearer focus on our customers’ needs. Our Development team will have a clear objective to manage the process of handing over completed properties to their new occupants so that the homes are ready to move into, free of major faults, and there is better customer care to help people settle into their new homes.
Fair deal for residents and homeowners
The most important part of our job is to make sure that we keep our tenants safe in their homes. Although this is not new for us, we are investing in better systems and more skilled staff to make sure that hazards are rigorously checked and safety in our buildings is well managed.
Our Customer Services team provide a courteous and friendly service; however, we will invest in improving the range of services that we offer online, to increase convenience for our customers.
We will be working harder to make sure that we understand customer experience and preferences so that we can focus on improving the services customers tell us matter most to them and those where we could do better. Two of our main targets are to improve customer satisfaction and to improve our service so that customers have fewer reasons to make a complaint.
Our offer to tenants is a good one. We provide good quality homes at affordable rents that are much lower than those in the private rented sector. Our repairs service makes sure that we carry out the repairs that we are responsible for promptly and to a good standard.
But our offer is something for something – we expect our residents to look after their homes, pay their rent on time, to provide us with access at agreed times and to behave with consideration to their neighbours and our staff. Doing this means that we can spend more time focusing on improving our business and building new homes, and less time chasing debts and dealing with anti-social behaviour. We are developing a more systematic and coordinated approach to identifying and acting where tenants are regularly or seriously breaking their side of the tenancy agreement.
Affordable home ownership has been a growing part of our business. The service that we provide to shared owners is fundamentally set by the terms of the leasehold contract that they enter into. We are going to review the service we provide to homeowners to assess whether we can improve the structures and processes we use, and to make sure that prospective purchasers are provided with good quality information.