Three new strategies have been launched by Ongo as it sets out its goals and ambitions for the next three years and starts work on a new 25-home development.
The social landlord says these strategies are the golden thread to achieving the aims of its Corporate Plan, which was launched in 2019 and focuses on the three strategy themes.
Ongo says each strategy has been created in collaboration with Ongo staff and tenants in order to really identify what the most important areas are for the business to focus on.
The three new strategies are:
- Be a great landlord
- Offer quality homes
- Create opportunities
Be a great landlord
In its Be a Great Landlord Strategy, Ongo aims to move from being a good landlord to a great one. It says it is committed to involving even more of their tenants and customers in decision making, providing excellent services, and running as efficiently as possible.
John Lawrence, head of Customer Experience, said: “We’ve set out some ambitious goals to achieve over the next few years, all with our tenants and customers in mind.
“We want them to have the best experience with us and we believe the targets set in this new strategy will help us to get to this point.
“Our customer service track record is already really positive, but we believe there are ways we can get better, and involving more of our tenants and customers in our decision making and shaping our services will help us achieve this.
“No one knows better than our tenants how we perform as a landlord, so by listening more and involving them more we can learn and improve.”
Offer quality homes
The Offer quality homes strategy sets out Ongo’s vision to offer quality homes to tenants and customers.
Already high-performing areas such as the health and safety of tenants is something Ongo says it will continue to prioritise, along with enhancing environments to make them places people want to live in.
Ongo also says it will invest further in its existing homes and continue to build new homes every year.
Neil Keay, head of Property, said: “We’ve been building new homes since 2014 and we’re promising to continue to build 2,250 more in the next 10 years.
“We know there is a huge demand for affordable, safe and secure homes and we want to do our bit to build homes suitable for all.
“This will include affordable rented homes, shared ownership and rent to buy – to help people get on the property ladder.
“Our Neighbourhood Services team has expanded and will continue to deliver service to enhance our communities to make them places people are proud to live in. We’re also aiming for 97% satisfaction with the maintenance service to our tenants.”
The Create opportunities strategy sets out a customer journey and the ways in which Ongo can support tenants and customers to fulfil their ambitions.
Ongo says a huge amount of work already happens in this area, with over 2,000 customers receiving employment related support over the last 12 months, and over £1.5m secured in external funding to provide services such as Ongo Talk, Ongo’s counselling and mental health support service.
Jan Williams, head of Opportunities, said: “We want to take a coaching approach to supporting our tenants to sustain their tenancy whilst increasing employment prospects and raising aspirations and ambitions of our tenants.
“We want to hold regular activities and events to help reduce social isolation, which is something more important now than ever before.
“We will be adapting the way we hold these activities, and always following the relevant safety guidance, but it is so important to us that our tenants are not lonely at home and they have opportunities.
“We’ll also be continuing to work with young people, on a variety of mentoring programmes to support and guide them to get off to the best start in life and be able to achieve their ambitions.”
Ongo involved tenants in the creation of these strategies, which included online surveys to identify what key themes and areas were important to them, how they believed Ongo could improve, and what they would like to see the landlord focus on in the future.
Tim Mills, a tenant board member for Ongo, said: “All these strategies put the tenants at the heart of Ongo.
“They are a great example of tenant and landlord working together to ensure the best possible future – not only for Ongo, but for its tenants as well.”
The strategies will be reviewed each year from now until 2023, with an annual report made available for tenants and customers to highlight progress made each year toward achieving each strategy.
New family homes
Ongo has also begun work on building 25 new homes on White’s Wood Lane in Gainsborough.
The homes are all for affordable rent and comrpise a mix of two-, three- and four-bedrooms.
Each comes with a modern fitted kitchen and bathroom, patio doors leading to private rear gardens, and off-road parking.
Georgie McGuire, development project manager at Ongo, said: “These homes are going to look great and the mix of sizes means they’re suitable for big and small families.
“They’re in a great location and they bring new, modern options to the area, so this is a development we’re really excited about.”
The homes, which have been funded by Homes England and Ongo, are being built by CPL Developments and are due for completion in 2022.
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