There is so much we could say here, however here are a few brief highlights of the journey of Wales & West Housing, so far…
Wales & West Housing Association was founded in 1965 to develop low cost rented and co-ownership accommodation in Cardiff and South Wales. The Association’s first scheme was developed in the mid 1960s and provided 49 flats at Hillside Court in Cardiff.
We developed around 1,500 homes throughout Wales and the west of England. In 1974 WWHA was registered with the Housing Corporation under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.
Continuing to build new homes we were one of the first housing associations to build properties using both grant funding and private finance. Two smaller Welsh associations who were in financial difficulty were absorbed into WWHA.
We developed more schemes, provided student accommodation in North Wales and became a leader in the field of resident participation. As part of a stock rationalisation exercise in 1990 we transferred 336 units of stock from Hanover Housing Association in the west of England, transferred the whole of our English stock to Orbit and Knightstone housing associations, and accepted Corlan and Corlan Retirement Housing Associations as a subsidiary of WWHA, taking our stock to around 5,500 properties.
This was a landmark year for the Association when we opened our 24 hour Customer Service Centre in Cardiff, and held our first Residents’ Conference. Our total stock stood at just under 9,000 properties.
By now the largest housing association in Wales, WWHA was managing approximately 9,000 properties. We won two UK Housing Awards for developing the first joint Tenant Compact in Wales, and the regeneration of Bettws in South Wales. We were also shortlisted for two further awards for our work in Merthyr Vale and the development of staff at WWHA.
We restructured to combine the two Regions into one Operations Department. As part of this restructure the area offices were closed, with the exception of Head Office and Flint, and staff were relocated into the areas to be closer to customers.
WWHA achieved charitable status, set up our own specialist Anti Social Behaviour Unit and expanded our involvement with communities.
David Taylor retired after 25 years as Chief Executive and was succeeded by Anne Hinchey, who was previously Operations Director at WWHA.
Achieved the accolade of Charter Mark for customer service excellence. We also achieved compliance with the Telecare Services Association (TSA) Code of Practice, becoming the first housing association in Wales and only the second Control Room in Wales to achieve this. We also became the first housing association in Wales to receive Age Positive Employer Champion status.
We achieved the Code of Practice for Sheltered Housing with the Centre for Sheltered Housing Studies. This is an exacting standard which recognises the quality of our retirement housing services. In the same year we became a Stonewall Diversity Champion.
We achieved Investors in People status including the Leadership & Management standard.
We achieved the TSA Code of Practice for monitoring. Cambria Maintenance Services Ltd is established – our first subsidiary company.
Making our debut in The Sunday Times Best Companies Public / Third Sector List we were rated as the top performing housing association in Wales, raking at 14th with a two star grading.
Ranked 8th in the 2011 Sunday Times Best Companies Not For Profit List, making us the highest rated not-for-profit business in Wales. Graded as being a three star organisation - the only Welsh HA to receive this grading - we are recognised as being as 'outstanding.' Also rebranded to be known now as Wales & West Housing with a smart new logo designed to reflect the many positive developments within our organisation.