A Lancashire not-for-profit housing association has invested £24.8m to provide affordable homes as part of its ongoing work to tackle the current social housing crisis.
With a commitment to support the local community, Progress Housing Group has pledged to provide 1,000 affordable new homes by 2024, with 226 homes built last financial year.
Recognising the necessity for a variety of affordable housing to reflect the needs of its tenants, 122 of these homes were for affordable rent, 69 for shared ownership, and 35 were supported living properties for people living with learning disabilities and mental health needs.
Jacqui De-Rose, Chief Executive of Progress Housing Group, said: “We are on course and hope to meet our target. This financial year we invested £24.8 million into the development of new homes, with £4.4 million coming from government grants.
“We have been working in partnership with Onward Homes to secure Strategic Partnership Grant funding from Homes England to support the delivery of 600 affordable homes by March 2026″.”
Building homes is not the Group’s only focus, as it pledges to create a positive impact on its residents and the neighbourhoods where they live. Through this work, the Group has been named Corporate Fundraiser of the Year at the North West Employee Experience Group Awards.
Mrs De-Rose added: “We believe housing associations have a wider role in society. We are committed to creating opportunities for people through access to personal and career development, and we have supported 304 people into training or employment through our Project Futures scheme.
“We have also continued to work closely with communities across the country.
“We invested £73,197 in supporting local groups and projects and activities at a number of our RWP supported living schemes. Projects have included a sensory garden, a pop-up Caribbean Carnival, digital engagement, youth activities, support for young carers, and activities for older people”.
The Group has also carried out social value work, enabling its contractors and other suppliers to make a real difference. This has included community clean-up days, supporting a food bank, and sponsoring the Typhoon’s inclusive rugby club.
With the cost of living crisis unfolding, Progress Housing Group remains steadfast in providing help for tenants who are struggling to manage their money or pay their rent. During the last financial year, the Group’s Financial Inclusion Team has helped 136 people increase their income by a total of £282,705.
The Group has also created opportunities for 2,892 people to become more independent through its charity Key Unlocking Futures.
Mrs De-Rose added: “We recognise that to make our communities great places to live, we need to help people achieve their aspirations and improve their prospects. Our Key Unlocking Futures team has been an integral force in achieving this. As well as securing accommodation, they have also been providing people at risk of losing their homes with vital advice on finding employment; and have provided family mediation sessions and budgeting support.”
Progress Housing Group’s full annual report can be found on its website: https://www.progressgroup.org.uk/about-us/how-we-are-performing/annual-reports/corporate-annual-reports/