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Not just bricks and mortar

Article information Published on: December 10, 2008 Updated on: November 11, 2012 Prepared by: Suzanne Newman

Putting residents first is good for business because it encourages regeneration, according to Worthing Homes.

We’re full of admiration for the community house project and it’s a really effective way to engage and regenerate a community who really need the kind of support this project brings. Richard Thomas, managing director of Lemo in Worthing

The housing association, which has 3,000 homes in the Sussex coastal area, also has a community house, where residents have access to a computer, information and training, and whose open door policy is literally turning lives around.

In addition, there is a resource centre with access to adult education and training as well as general advice and social events.

Robin King, chief executive of Worthing Homes, said: “We provide affordable rented homes, key worker accommodation and low cost shared ownership. We also build new homes, but bricks and mortar aren’t really our focus – it’s people who are at the heart of our business.

“By understanding the needs of the communities in which we work, we can develop services that support and strengthen neighbourhoods.

“This helps build a virtuous circle – creating more desirable, safer areas to live, encouraging regeneration and wealth creation, which in the long-term delivers dividends for everyone.”

He added: “We believe that everyone deserves to be safe, comfortable and happy where they live and Worthing Homes is in business to make that happen.

“It’s about good old-fashioned neighbourliness – by offering practical support and strategic help, we are seeing people doing amazing things in their own communities.

“And of course there are real tangible benefits – less anti-social behaviour, less fear of crime and the lowest rent arrears figures in the region.”