There’s always excitement in the air when May rolls around. Is it the first signs of summer? Eurovision maybe? No, it’s the annual Northern Housing Awards!
More than 600 housing professionals from descended on Old Trafford last night to celebrate the ocean of talent that exists within the northern housing sector.
A total of twenty-six awards were up for grabs at The Point, recognising everything from diversity to modular housing, sustainability to building safety.
Comedian Justin Moorhouse served as host for the evening, ensuring there were plenty of laughs to be had amid the celebrations.
CIH president Lara Oyedele also delivered an impassioned speech on the importance of diversity and inclusion, both in northern housing and the wider sector.
Not everyone could take home an award; but that didn’t stop the champagne from flowing and celebrations from continuing into the small hours – with a little help of some interactive entertainment courtesy of Bandeoke.
BEST APPROACH TO BUILDING SAFETY
- Winner: Stockport Homes Group
The judges said: Collaboration at its best. A brilliant example of customer engagement in building safety and a real commitment to tenants needs demonstrated through going the extra mile with fire safety tests.
BEST APPROACH TO EMPLOYEE WELLBEING
- Winner: Novus Property Solutions
The judges said: It is clear that Novus have really identified the source of wellbeing problems which impact on their colleagues and understood how this may affect their business going forward. They have a clear plan and are measuring the change as they go through their journey.
PARTNERING SCHEME OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Together Housing, Calderdale Council, Esh Construction, and Equans
The judges said: The commitment of this partnership to take on an apparently untouchable project is incredible. The impressive collaboration brought innovation, inward investment, and community development at real scale.
SHARED OWNERSHIP SCHEME OF THE YEAR
- Winner: John Southworth Builders Ltd
The judges said: This submission clearly demonstrated the impact this development had on the surrounding area including the use of local labour and source for materials as well as meeting the future Home Standards 2025 and no use of fossil fuels.
BEST REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE TEAM (sponsored by TCW)
- Winner: HMS
The judges said: Impressive growth through a turbulent period in recent years, underpinned by a focus on the customer and quality service, along with employment from the local community and all surpluses reinvested through the housing company, make this an excellent submission.
BEST RETROFIT INITIATIVE (sponsored by Next Energy)
- Winner: Urban Splash X Places for People
The judges said: A hugely impressive submission due to the scale of the project, the focus on retaining the embodied carbon, and preserving the architecture was impressive. The scale of the customer engagement and support was also impressive.
RESIDENT SUPPORT/ADVICE PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Equans)
- Winner: WDH
The judges said: Great use of external funding and partnership working to deliver impact at scale across the borough. Provision of services to all tenures is a significant part of the project and ensures that the entire community is supported. This is a professionally run programme delivering great results.
BEST APPROACH TO MODULAR HOUSING (sponsored by Mansell Building Solutions)
- Winner: North Tyneside Council
The judges said: A really impressive regeneration of a problem site and innovative solution for underused garages with a rapid, neat, eco-conscious development, with clear outcomes for the community and end users.
BEST INITIATIVE FOR TACKLING HOMELESSNESS (sponsored by Stanley Investments Ltd)
- Winner: Sefton Council
The judges said: The success of this scheme is unquestionable, with a 100% success rate in terms of families remaining in homes. The well-thought-through approach to resolving outmoded practices is impressive. A super example and well evidenced throughout.
BEST APPROACH TO DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
- Winner: The Sovini Group
The judges said: Sovini appear to be leading the way in a sector that has lagged behind for too long, creating a culture of change through highlighting events and tacking previously taboo subjects. A good range of support and solid business commitments.
REGENERATION SCHEME OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Irwell Valley Homes
The judges said: A fantastic estate regeneration founded on impressive resident engagement, social and employment initiatives. There is a real emphasis on improving the quality of lives as well as the local biodiversity.
- Highly commended: Livin
BEST PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT
- Winner: Rowlinson
The judges said: An excellent example of a sustainable development that is affordable and where generations can mix freely and upsize, downsize or adapt their existing space to meet their changing needs whilst still remaining within their community.
SUPPORTED/SHELTERED HOUSING SCHEME OF THE YEAR (sponsored by PROCare)
- Winner: Leeds Jewish Housing Association
The judges said: A scheme that reflects the close relationship between the provider and its community, showing the benefits of vision and perseverance. Their determination to build this scheme has paid off as clearly shown in the testimonials by the residents. Fantastic work!
BEST DEVELOPMENT FOR SOCIAL AFFORDABLE RENT (sponsored by Ark Consultancy)
- Winner: The Guinness Partnership
The judges said: A great example of making use of a brownfield site that had been a liability to the local community providing much needed affordable housing, reinforcing the community’s sense of place. A good-looking scheme with great eco credentials.
- Highly commended: Railway Housing Association
BEST DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
- Winner: Livin Housing
The judges said: It’s great that the systems have been co-designed with customers. The speed of implementation of a new process to deal with damp and mould really demonstrates the value of the tech. The metrics around adoption levels are amazing. The customer satisfaction and ‘lessons learned’ section of this submission really demonstrate an organisation that is committed to continuous improvement. Really impressive!
BEST APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY (sponsored by Jewson Partnership Solutions)
- Winner: Equans UK & Ireland
The judges said: A clear commitment to sustainability was evidenced through this submission and is clearly embedded across the organisation, from supplier selection through to project delivery and supporting their employees.
BEST RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT INITIATIVE (sponsored by Alertacall)
- Winner: WDH
The judges said: This was an incredibly ambitious project – to visit 32,000 homes in just three months is a huge undertaking! The support residents were able to access and the sheer volume of referrals as a result of WDH ‘knocking on’ is a reminder of how important this approach can be. The wrap-around use of the QR code and SMS was also very impressive, enabling as many people as possible to benefit from this intervention.
DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR (sponsored by C-TEC)
- Winner: Great Places Housing Group
The judges said: Great Places demonstrated a very strong forward looking sustainability agenda, including bringing an MMC framework online and good examples of how they will build on their success over the next 12 months.
CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Building Careers UK)
- Winner: HMS
The judges said: A fantastic approach to supporting local communities and promoting employment opportunities, with £22m invested in social initiatives over 12 years and a culture of connecting people with the support they need.
SME OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Stanley Investments Ltd
The judges said: Stanley Investments have a very innovative operating model based on supporting and growing SMEs. They have a very healthy pipeline, which is testament to their success. Very impressive.
TECHNOLOGY PARTNER OF THE YEAR
- Winner: FLS – FAST LEAN SMART
The judges said: FLS have demonstrated a good range of examples of exceeding customer expectations, providing good value and increased productivity along with ease of integration with other existing software. A great submission that clearly shows the benefit and savings FLS bring to clients.
- Highly commended: Policy in Practice
- Highly commended: Mobysoft Ltd
CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Capsticks Solicitors LLP
The judges said: Their advisory service and work with the Chartered Institute of Housing to develop a new diploma demonstrate a wide approach well beyond the usual solicitor’s brief. Also strong on innovation with their use of AI. Really impressive stuff.
SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
- Winner: Alertacall
The judges said: Alertacall have demonstrated an innovative approach to the digital switchover problem and also a commitment to supporting social value creation.
LANDLORD OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Seddon)
- Winner: Stockport Homes Group
The judges said: The breadth and depth of the activities of SHG really do set it aside. What makes it really special though is the sense of purpose, the golden thread that runs through the company and all it does. The workforce is well trained and supported then trusted to deliver. Massively impressive.
NORTHERN HOUSING TEAM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Novus Property Solutions)
- Winner: Income Team – Magenta Living
The judges said: Too often the Income Team is seen as the ‘hard guy’ of the organisation. Magenta have shown that it does not have to be this way. Really impressive income collection figures prove that acting in a humane and supportive way can also make great business sense, allowing the HA to support more people and helping people to sustain their tenancies.
TENANT OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Fortem)
- Winner: Martin Cheung, Pine Court Housing Association
The judges said: Martin is going above and beyond to build a better future, create opportunities and changes lives for thriving and inclusive communities across the Liverpool City Region. His extreme kindness, selflessness, and commitment make Martin a worthy winner of Tenant of the Year.
This year’s Northern Housing Awards was delivered in partnership with hardship charity The Riff Raff Society of Greater Manchester, for whom attendees raised more than £4,000.
Main image: Pine Court Housing Association tenant Martin Cheung receives the award for Tenant of the Year
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