The Flax Trust

Housing Associations CEO & Chairman’s Report 2016

Chairman’s Foreword

Welcome to NB Housing 2015/16 Annual Report and year 2 post merger. With all mergers, it takes some time for systems and procedures to bed down and become properly effective. We are confident that significant progress has been made and we are well placed to continue to enhance and improve our operations moving forward.

Our progress was acknowledged by the Department for
Communities (DfC) who undertook a detailed and comprehensive
inspection of our operations. As our main funder, it is essential to
demonstrate that we are providing a good service. We were delighted to achieve a satisfactory rating, which is the 2nd highest score over all areas. This result will enable NB Housing to continue to access Housing Association Grant for new developments and be able to continue to provide grant funded adaptations for those residents in need.

The Board made commitments to the DfC to implement the recommendations contained in the report as we continually strive to add to our services.

A further achievement was our Investors in People Award (IIP), demonstrating our approach to high performance through good people management. IIP is an international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results.

This Annual Report contains key information on our activities, investments and achievements during the past year. We are always keen to learn from tenants and stakeholders and benchmark our performance against others, to learn from good practice to ensure our services are more than fit for purpose.

On behalf of the Board of Management, I wish to pay thanks to all who contributed to our achievements. Special thanks are paid to all of our staff, our joint management partners, The Salvation Army and Rosemount House, who provide supported accommodation for vulnerable families and individuals suffering from addictions. I also take this opportunity to thank our key stakeholders, DfC and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, our partners in the housing association movement, and the many service providers and contractors who deliver service on behalf of NB Housing.

In particular may I thank my colleagues on the Board of Management, who are very committed, skilled and dedicated to making a positive difference to those who receive our services. The Board ensures the business of NB Housing conforms to the highest governance standards, set key objectives and targets for the association and are responsible for the achievements of NB Housing.

John Simpson


Chief Executive’s Report

Being at the end of the second year, after the merger of Filor and Flax Housing Associations to create NB Housing, our focus now shifts to service delivery, investment and expansion.

In the past year we have continued to build on our progress and achievements with a focus on our cultural identity as one organisation, supported by a skilled and dedicated staff team, directed by a comprehensive and knowledgeable Board.

This report highlights many of our achievements and results for
the past business year. We are committed to ongoing improvements in service delivery to enhance our tenant and resident experience.

In the first year of operation, NB Housing Board set a total of 154 separate business objectives. Despite meeting many challenges that are perhaps usual or common after a merger, we managed to fully achieve 83%, partially achieve 10%, with 7% not achieved. While the results overall are favourable, we have given a commitment to address any areas where we failed to fully implement the objectives. In some cases changing business environment, and other pressures, restricted our ability to fully implement all objectives. We are now working on the 2nd year operational objectives and are very hopeful that we will deliver on this plan.

While continuing to build our services we managed to make modest growth in our stock with an increase of 2.2%, representing 20 additional properties at a cost of £2.3m.

We successfully procured a commitment from The First Trust Bank to provide £3m private finance to top up Housing Association Grant to fund future developments over the next 3 years. A number of new build proposals are being considered and we are hopeful to secure these over the next 12 months.

In order to meet our ongoing objectives, it is essential that our financial performance is maintained and I have pleasure in reporting that our Gross Turnover increased to £5.5m achieving a net surplus of £1.6m, which compared to the legacy associations performance is very favourable.

It has been a successful year, made possible by the dedication of our board members, staff and the support and involvement of many of our customers and stakeholders. We always welcome ideas about how NB Housing can become a better landlord so please get in touch with any suggestions that will add to our present performance.

Donal Conway

Chief Executive