Housing association hails ‘hugely successful’ year despite pandemic challenges

Freya Lees

KINGDOM Housing Association’s AGM has reflected on an ‘unprecedented’ year for the organisation.

Held virtually for the second year in a row, the event focused on Kingdom’s response to the pandemic as it supported tenants, customers and staff while maintaining service delivery.

A £100,000 Coronavirus Assistance Fund was established to support tenants experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic, while a further £100,000 was made available through the Supporting Communities Fund. Connecting Scotland funding allowed Kingdom to tackle ‘digital exclusion’ by providing devices, Internet connections and training to vulnerable people.

The AGM attendees heard how housing staff expanded support services and increased tenant engagement and participation, while Kingdom Works, Kingdom’s employability project, helped 278 people into employment.

Kingdom also invested over £55 million in its development programme. The organisation started on site with 484 new homes and secured a revolving credit facility with Lloyds bank of £10 million as part of the Kingdom Group of companies funding strategy for the next five years.

Kingdom chair Freya Lees said, “Kingdom’s mission is to provide more than a home and despite all the challenges we have faced throughout an unprecedented year, I’m proud that we were able to do just that. Kingdom continues to evolve, to embrace change, to refine its systems and processes and to deliver on our objectives while keeping our customers and communities at the heart of all we do.

“On a personal note, my time as chair of Kingdom is coming to an end after five years in the role. Looking back over that time, there have been many highlights that I’m particularly proud of including seeing the team develop such a successful project in the Naumann Initiative, continuing the development programme and securing the finance required, strengthening the board through new members and the creation of the apprenticeship scheme and trainee programme.”

Group chief executive Bill Banks added, “This has been another hugely successful year for Kingdom. Despite the many challenges of Covid-19 we have managed to deliver on all of our strategic objectives. We have demonstrated agility and resilience and many of our processes have been reviewed and improved which has resulted in more efficient and effective ways of working. Ultimately allowing us to deliver better services to our customers.”