ANNUAL REPORT 2013 A HOME FROM HOME IN LONDON

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1 ANNUAL REPORT 2013 A HOME FROM HOME IN LONDON

2 Chair & Director s Report was another positive year for Causeway. As expected, we completed the purchase of our second house, a five bedroom shared property in Hackney. We also created two new posts, Senior Housing Manager and Special Projects Manager. The Senior Housing Manager will lead the housing management team and develop the service. The Special Projects Manager will oversee our Lifeskills & Step Up projects, and seek funding to introduce other housing plus projects to the organisation. Both of our Step up Projects, assisting single homeless people to access the private rented sector in Haringey and Enfield, continued to do well, and received another year s funding from Department of Communities and Local Government.via Crisis, as did our partnership project with the Refugee Council. This means that by the end of this year, we will have created and sustained over 200 Private Rented Sector tenancies. Our work was recognised by Crisis with the award of PRS Champions status for working in partnership to support refugees. Partnership has been key for us this year. As founding members of the Waltham Forest Community Consortium, with Home from Home, Tamil Community Housing, Ackee Housing Profect and Karin HA, we were awarded just under 1 million pounds from DCLG to deliver our empty homes programme, bringing at least 25 empty properties back into use by It is expected that the consortium will continue beyond this to provide more housing in north-east London and beyond, managed by small housing organisations rooted in the communities in which we work. Our Lifeskills and Resettlement Project has been gearing up for Universal Credit, running IT and money management courses to ensure our tenants and Step Up clients are ready to face the changes whenever and howev-

3 All of this could have meant taking our eye of our core housing services. Fortunately, our staff team recognises that this is the engine which drives everything else and enables us to provide those additional services to our tenants and to the community. There has been no let up in the housing management team s work to constantly improve the service and add to our stock. Our Housing Management team achieved a record low of 2.5% voids and 3.8% bad debts for the year. We are also grateful to our private landlords and Registered Provider partners for their assistance in this. In particular, we d like to thank Circle 33 and St Martin of Tours for providing us with additional homes this year. Finally, a huge vote of thanks to our Committee who have consistently given their time and talents to make all of this happen. They have taken some extremely positive and ambitious decisions in the last year to ensure that we never rest on our laurels and continue to move forward and grow. Joanne Murray Director Neal Purvis Chair

4 Turning Empty Property into Homes: This year the Waltham Forest Community Consortium was awarded 945,000 by DCLG to bring 25 empty homes back into use. The consortium is made up of five community-based housing associations, namely Ackee Housing Project, Home from Home, Tamil Community Housing, Karin and Causeway. Pat Connolly, the consortium s Project Officer, talked about this exciting project and its challenges. What inspired you to take on this project? The challenge. Although I have worked in the housing sector for many years, this was something very different to my previous roles. I envisaged working on this project would be a great learning opportunity and provide the opportunity to develop new skills. What has the consortium achieved so far? The project has been slow to gain momentum, mainly because the council have a similar scheme which is financially more attractive to many property owners, and house prices in London generally, and in Walthan Forest in particular, are rising fast. This was not envisaged when the original bid was submitted. However, despite these obstacles we have completed our first Purchase and Repair property which is now tenanted, we have purchased and are developing our second property, and expect to complete on our third Purchase and Repair in the coming weeks. We also expect to sign off and start work on our first Lease and Repair in the next few weeks. Another number of properties are at the early stages in the pipeline. What s it like working with a consortium as opposed to a single organization? It is more difficult, mainly as the decision making process can take some time, also the different consortium member have different requirements, expectations and processes, all of which can slow the process down. It s interesting to see the subtle differences in how the organisations work though, and to have input from a wide variety of staff. What are the biggest challenges you ve faced? Finding suitable properties and signing up property owners. We had hoped to get information on suitable empty properties from the councils Empty Homes Team using the council tax information, but changes in the council tax system mean that that information is no longer available. Further, there s a danger, with

5 different streams of funding set up to solve the problem, that this scheme could be seen as a competitor with the council s own empty homes scheme. Have you learned anything new? Yes many new things, the importance of adapting strategies to what actually works, and of constantly reassessing and evaluating the project. Also the importance of networking and promoting the scheme in a targeted way. Will we deliver what we ve set out to do? Yes I believe we will. It may be necessary to focus our attention more on Purchase and Repair and away from Lease and Repair, but building on our initial success and using the contacts that have been developed via networking and continuing to network and be creative in our approach, there is, I believe, every likelihood that we will meet or come very close to delivering our targets. An empty house purchased through the empty homes programme

6 Aniesha s Career takes off with Causeway I was looking for somewhere to live and my friend recommended Causeway as they were a tenant. I contacted Causeway in 2006 and found it to be a very easy process; I completed my application for housing and was invited for an interview. I was nervous about the interview but the staff made me feel so comfortable, I felt really calm and under no pressure, it did not feel like an interview and the conversation flowed well. I believe I was housed by Causeway within 2 weeks of my interview and I was really impressed. I moved to a shared property in Wood Green where I stayed for a few years before being moved into my own flat. I found all the staff very helpful and they always try to help keep us happy. Causeway listens to their tenants and they are quick at resolving issues that are reported to them. I was not left alone or felt alone when I was moved into my new home, they provide a good support network. More recently I have been attending workshops at Causeway relating to employment. The life-skills worker has assisted me in securing training at Stansted Airport. There are various job opportunities and in different sectors. I am halfway through my training which is set up through Urban Futures, they also provide you the cost of your travel which for me was a huge benefit as travelling costs can be expensive especially on a tight budget. Once my training is completed I will be applying for jobs and am interested in becoming a passenger service agent. I recommend Causeway to everyone and definitely suggest that they attend the Life-skills workshops as I have benefitted greatly!

7 Vivien Clarke- My Story I have been a tenant with Causeway now for 9 years. I came over from Ireland with my partner to look for work when I was 16. We rented a property and I mainly worked in bars and pubs. I had no family in London and found it hard to settle. London felt like a concrete jungle and I felt very lonely. It took me about 5 years to fully settle. It became easier as I began making friends. I joined the Civil Service and began working in Courts across London. I split up with my longterm partner and needed to find housing. I approached the London Irish Centre and they told me about Causeway. All the staff at Causeway were friendly and the application process was easy as I was scared at the time. I had never done anything like this before. It was a swift process from interview to being housed and I was housed in a lovely property which was brand new. It was onwards and upwards from there. I loved my time there and got on so well with my housemates. I was unfortunately involved in a serious motorbike accident and had to move to friends for 6 months to recover as I was on crutches. I was also in a new relationship and expecting so Causeway helped to move me into a larger property in Hammersmith. Causeway has been a great help to me as I had no family support when I moved to London. They have a massive impact on people s lives. I studied a Beauty therapy course and opened my own business at the Hammersmith Irish centre where I hired a room 3 days a week until they closed down. I have since had two more children and taken a career break from the Civil Service. I am currently studying for GCSE Maths and English and was recently diagnosed with Dyslexia something which was never spoken about whilst I was growing up. I believe if you educate a woman you educate a family I would love to study further at University, my passion is History but where I go from here is the Million Dollar Question.

8 The Causeway Irish Housing Committee and staff : Management Committee Chair Neal Purvis Treasurer Femi Ayinde Steve Butters Helen Curtis Mark Laffan John O Donovan David Rees Pam Robinson Stephen Stokes Staff Director Joanne Murray Senior Housing Manager Tahira Akram Housing Managers Maureen Hankins, Lorraine Miller Special Projects Manager Rukia Begum Step Up Worker Biniam Tesfai Lifeskills & Resettlement Worker Elise Pinder Empty Homes Worker Pat Connolly Administrators Roisin Intavarant, Aisling McDowell Volunteers Alaeldin Ahmed Dalia Adelrahman

9 SUMMARY INCOME AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT Income Donations and gifts - - Grants 156,243 88,172 Activities in furtherance of the association s objects rents receivable 1,661,803 1,582,825 Sundry income 2, Net gain on disposal of fixed assets - - 1,820,903 1,671,563 Charitable expenditure Costs of generating funds - 5,391 Costs of activities in furtherance of the association s 1,734,047 1,583,513 objects Governance costs 8,487 6,944 1,742,534 1,595,848 Operating surplus/(deficit) for the year 78,369 75,715 Interest receivable 1, Interest payable (6,316) (3,848) Realised (loss)/gain on sale of investments - - Surplus/(Deficit) for year 73,246 71,877

10 Causeway Irish Housing Association is proud to work with the following organisations who have worked with us: Housing Amicus Horizon Circle 33 London Borough of Haringey St Martin of Tours Southern Housing Group Lifeskills Irish Government Emigrant Support Fund Together North London Haringey Moneywise Eleanor Rathbone Trust Veridian Housing Empty Homes Ackee Housing Project Home from Home Karin Housing Association Tamil Community Housing Association London Borough of Waltham Forest Step Up Crisis HACT The Refugee Council Tamil Community Housing Association Tottenham Active Our auditors: Beever &Struthers 15 Bunhill Row London EC1Y 8LP Our banks: Allied Irish Bank Co-op Bank: PO BOX Finchley Rd 1 Balloon Street London NW3 6BX Manchester M60 4EP Triodos Deanery Road Bristol BS1 5AS BS1 5AS

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