We’ve continued to work hard this year to deliver our tenant’s priorities and help them face the challenges created by austerity, welfare reform and Universal Credit.  Despite reducing our rents by a further 1% this year we’ve continued to invest and improve the quality of our homes.  We’ve installed new heating systems, kitchens and bathrooms.  Providing safe homes and ensuring people are safe at home will always be our top priority.

We’ve become an enthusiastic Early Adopter of the National Housing Federation’s Tenants Together Charter which sets out four actions intended to strengthen the relationship between tenants and us.  We’re involving as many tenants as possible in a variety of ways to help make this plan work for our community.  This important work is linked to the “new deal for social housing” outlined in the Government’s Green Paper in August 2018.

We continue to be the Locally Trusted Organisation for the Big Local funding in Puriton and Woolavington called Villages Together and we work closely with other organisations across Somerset.

We aim to recruit, develop and reward people who are committed to our social purpose.  We’re working with other organisations to create a psychologically and trauma informed environment and develop compassionate communication skills throughout SHAL.  In 2019/20 we’ll be asking our tenants what their priorities are now and we’ll continue to make improvements and changes across our business to respond positively in the years to come.

I want to thank all the Board members at SHAL, in this my final year as Chair, for their support and hard work.  The voices of tenants are listened to and responded to by all of us on the Board but we know we can do more.  If you are interested in becoming a Board member, please email Angela@shal.org or call her on 07834 747972 to find out what we can do to prepare you and support you to get involved in SHAL’s governance.

You can read our full Annual Report and Financial Statements to find out more.