It’s good to hear, amongst all the talk of a financial downturn and a gloomy outlook for the building industry, of a housing company that’s bucking the trend.
The fun day is one day of the year I wouldn’t miss out on. There is so much fun, so many people to talk to and it’s all free. Ginny Hewlett
The Community House is delivering an excellent service for the local community and for young people as individuals. It plays a key role in diverting them from crime. I have experienced policing in a number of different towns in Sussex and I am unaware of anyone else who is serving their local community in this way. Inspector Martin Pattenden of Sussex Police
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, Lemo, Worthing
Robin King, chief executive of Worthing Homes, explains: “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.”
So what does this mean in practice?…
- If you are a Worthing Homes resident, chances are, you are amongst the 95% who consider they have a good landlord.
- Over 1,000 new kitchens and bathrooms have been installed in homes across West Sussex – helping to meet the government’s ‘decent homes’ target.
- Retaining key workers in areas where the average house price is £225,000 is a challenge, so £15m is being invested to provide that first vital step on the housing ladder for young professionals.
- Support at home for older people or those who temporarily need help through accident or illness is provided by the Red Assure telecare team – helping people with everyday things in their own home.
- A community house, where you can use a computer to do your homework, access training or simply drop by for a cuppa – whose open door policy is literally turning lives around.
- A resource centre with access to adult education and training as well as general advice and social events.
- Community ‘fun’ days where everything is free and there‟s an opportunity for a get together – providing valuable real contact between neighbours.
Robin King takes up the story again: “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 believe it or not, we have the lowest rent arrears figures in the region!”