Our vision and values 4
More homes, better places 6
Focusing on customers 8
Older people’s services 10
Supporting people 12
Supporting livelihoods 14
New affordable homes 16
Cleaner, greener, safer 18
Tenant involvement 20
Empowering our employees 22
Doing more for our money 24
National profile and policy 26
Looking back 28
Group structure 30
Customer Service Centre
24 hours a day, 365 days a year
0845 111 0000
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Housing associations are being challenged
to change, to meet the national demand for
affordable housing and personal support.
Change is not always easy, but the
improvements we have already achieved
for our customers have inspired us to rise
to the challenge.
Our merger with ECHG, the sheltered and
supported housing provider, has widened
the range of support that we can offer those
who need it most. It has also helped us to
refine our vision: transforming lives,
revitalising neighbourhoods. We are now
a force for good in the lives of more than
85,000 people nationwide.
We have completed major reviews of our
services, and an internal excellence and
customer service programme. We are making
our operations as socially responsible as
possible and we have already strengthened our
environmental policy to reduce the carbon
footprint of our new and existing homes.
Extensive consultation with our tenants and
service users has ensured that their views have
been central to our refreshed strategy.
We have also amalgamated our general
needs housing associations to create a
stronger, financially secure ‘whole’.
Over such a period of change, it has been
rewarding to see both our customer and
employee satisfaction figures rise, and have
our achievements recognised with two
successive ‘Social Landlord of the year’
awards for 2008 and 2009.
As we pass our 80th anniversary, it has
been fitting to review our direction. Liverpool
Improved Houses was established in 1928 in a
bid to make housing affordable to those most
in need. The damp slums may be gone but,
over 80 years later, the challenge of providing
safe, warm, affordable accommodation that
meets the acceptable standards of the day is,
once again, a pressing issue.
We still have plenty to do; we are privileged
to be able to do it, and committed to doing
the very best we can.
Thank you for your interest in Riverside.
Our vision and values
Focusing on customers
We’re one of the largest registered social
landlords in the country, with more than
50,000 affordable homes from Carlisle to Kent.
Approximately 85,000 people live in a
Respecting the individual
We provide specialist support for over 3,000
service users, from ex-service employees to
rough sleepers and teenage mothers. We also
help over 6,000 older people live independent
lives in our sheltered housing, extra-care
schemes and at home.
Our focus goes beyond the home. We take
a neighbourhood approach, working with
the local community to establish a financially
sustainable mix of homes for social rent,
shared ownership and outright purchase.
We also help our residents to tackle anti-social
behaviour, including gangs, problem neighbours
Going for it and sticking with it
We support the communities in which we
work by investing in local organisations,
funding training and development for
residents, and by making substantial
environmental improvements. We fund
projects ourselves and also through grants
from other organisations, including the
Communicating positively and listening
Our overall customer satisfaction with services
is approaching 80%. We consult our tenants
and service users continuously to find out their
views. We are also strengthening and extending
the ways in which our tenants are involved –
from helping to shape our policies to carrying
out property inspections.
Maximising value, minimising waste
We’re tackling value at all levels, from looking
at our operational structure and procuring
goods and services more efficiently, to cutting
our fuel consumption through our Corporate
Social Responsibility programme. We estimate
that the recent ‘Better Together’ restructure
will save over £3 million within five years, to
invest in more homes and improved services.
Challenging the conventional
We’re so committed to providing more
affordable homes that we are always looking
at new ways of working. Whether it is by
attracting more funding through partnership
working, or providing local people with the
opportunity to buy their own home through
Own Place, the scheme that offers discounts
on purchase price, subject to owner occupation.
For year ended 31st March 2009
— turnover: £277 million
— surplus on ordinary activities before tax:
— Total housing stock, owned or managed:
(Subject to approval of statutory accounts.)
More homes, better places
At the end of the day, Elaine * goes upstairs
and can close herself into her own bedroom.
Downstairs, the sunny living room has been a
warm and lively centre for family life with her
three daughters. It feels good. It feels like home.
After her husband left, Elaine brought up the
girls on her own in a tiny flat. She slept in the
living room, desperately trying to get re-housed
somewhere less cramped, somewhere with a
little private space. She struggled with
depression. Eventually, the phone call came,
and Elaine jumped at the chance of a Riverside
home. It has transformed her life.
We let more than 50,000 homes at affordable
rents (in line with Government guidelines)
across the country. Our homes are clustered in
neighbourhoods where we can work with the
community as a whole, not just the occupants
of an individual house. Around half of our
properties are on Merseyside, with the other
half distributed throughout Carlisle, Newcastle,
Greater Manchester, the Midlands and the
Over the past five years, we have invested
£195 million in 15,000 former council houses
that were transferred to us by Liverpool City
Council, Manchester City Council and Carlisle
City Council. Many have been given new
kitchens, bathrooms, heating and wiring.
By the Government’s deadline of 2010, all
our sustainable homes will meet the ‘Decent
Based on a true tenant story, names have
The map below shows the density of our stock
by local authority.
Under 100 properties
100 to 300 properties
Over 300 properties
Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf
of HMSO © Crown copyright and database right 2008.
All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number:
— Riverside own more than 37,000
general needs homes.
— We now have properties in 204 local
authorities in England.
— Over half of our housing is located in the
nation’s 10% most deprived areas.
— 79% of our tenants say that, overall, they
are satisfied with the service we provide.
Focusing on customers
Last year we set ourselves the goal of achieving
a 10% increase in customer satisfaction within
three years – and it’s a goal that has certainly
spurred us into action.
We’ve completed a major service review
encompassing repairs, lettings, anti-social
behaviour, resident involvement strategy
and how we manage our ‘void’ properties.
The recommendations are already being put
into action, improving customer service and,
simultaneously, making economic sense.
Our employee survey revealed just how
committed we all are to providing an excellent
service. The Raising the Roof Excellence
Programme has been welcomed by employees
and has included every one of them – and
some of our contractors – in a tailored, Mary
Gober Customer Service Training programme.
After an in-depth look at our organisation, we
have re-organised our local service delivery on
Merseyside. We have introduced a hub and
shop system, which has resulted in all local
tenants being no more than a short bus ride
away from a face-to-face conversation with us.
It’s also saved us a significant amount in
administration costs, which we have been able
to re-invest in front-line services. We are now
looking at rolling this model out to other areas
of the country where we have similar
concentrations of customers.
Almost all our tenants can talk to us face-to-face
at our neighbourhood offices in local shopping
areas. Shop locations can be found at
Customer Service Centre
Our multiple award-winning Customer Service
Centre takes calls 24 hours a day, all year, for
225,000 tenants, on behalf of eight housing
associations. Tenants can pay their rent, report a
repair, check their account and discuss any other
aspect of their tenancy with trained advisors.
Our ‘Tailoring our service’ programme is
an innovative service designed to make
communication with our customers easier
and simpler for them.
Over 12,420 of our tenants have signed up
for the service, which provides letters, leaflets
and newsletters in their first language, or in
another format such as large print, Braille or
Our website carries the stringent ‘see it right’
certificate, and front-line employees and
contractors are all briefed on the cultural and
religious requirements of the households they
South East Housing Officers
In the South East Division of Riverside, the
service is delivered through our travelling
Housing Officers. They can deal with queries
at the tenant’s home, using modern
technology to stay in touch with the office.
We have revamped our website to make
it easier for tenants to access services and
We have also got more improvements planned
this year, including an area for tenants to share
information with each other and get involved
in local community groups.
Visit www.riverside.org.uk to find out more.
Older people’s services
When Frank and Gwen started to find
managing their own home a bit of a struggle,
they knew they had a difficult decision ahead.
“We’d been independent all our lives. We
wanted a bit of help every now and again, but
we still wanted to get the most out of life so
we were a little apprehensive about moving
into a sheltered scheme.”
That’s when they met Janet, Scheme Manager
at Ash Grove, a sheltered scheme run by ECHG,
Riverside’s sheltered and supported specialist
subsidiary. “Frank and Gwen were looking for a
helping hand when they needed it, but they
are also very much their own people. We offer
security with independence. Help is here when
you need it, but your time is your own. You can
choose to join in with the social activities, the
fitness classes and the IT course, or you can
give them a miss. Everyone is different.”
“Frank and Gwen are a particularly active
couple who really throw themselves into life at
the scheme. They’re regular faces at our weekly
bingo nights, fish and chip suppers and fitness
classes. Frank did our Introduction to IT course
and now has his own computer! Along with
three other tenants he also set up a Social
Committee that organises its own social
activities every other week.”
At one stage Gwen became ill and needed
extra support put in place. This is where
sheltered housing came into its own for the
couple. Janet put in place a carer to help Gwen
with her washing and dressing and, as Scheme
Manager, she also encouraged Gwen to take
part in the life of the scheme once she started
to feel better. After a good recovery, the care is
no longer needed and both Gwen and Frank
continue to lead active lives, but with the
confidence that there is support there when
they need it.
Meeting the challenges
An ageing population holds many challenges
and opportunities to work with customers
who wish to remain independent, both in
their own homes and within purpose-built
accommodation. To meet these changing
needs we will expand provision of extra-care
services and floating support for older people
in the communities around our accommodation,
as well as specific extra-care and floating
support services across the country.
Alongside this, ECHG will continue to upgrade
our homes and the systems that support our
tenants to feel safe and secure in their
accommodation. The most recent example of
this has been the creation of a three-year
partnership with Tunstall, a nationallyrecognised
telecare systems provider.
ECHG’s older people’s housing focuses on the
importance of safety and security in lively
schemes that offer companionship and a real
sense of community for over 6,000 men,
women and couples. Services include:
— self-contained flats
— extra-care schemes
— supporting tenants’ changing needs as
they grow older
— liaising with social services and other
agencies on tenants’ behalf
— managed schemes
— support at home.
Clare * didn’t really think Gaynor’s visit was
necessary. Okay, the flat was a complete mess,
there were cigarette butts everywhere and the
baby wouldn’t stop crying but Clare had had
enough of ‘professionals’ poking their noses in
her life and making things worse. Her last baby
had been adopted, as she couldn’t cope, and
when her dad, her main support, died she
started drinking heavily. Her new baby was put
on the Child Protection Register. She’d had
more than enough stress in her life.
“But Gaynor was different,” says Clare. “She
talked to me on my level and she never looked
down her nose at me.”
Gaynor is a specialist support worker for ECHG,
our sheltered and supported housing specialist,
and she was there to tell Clare about the
Teenage Parents Project. Five years later, Clare
has two healthy, happy children; she is in
contact with her adopted daughter, and she is
about to take a degree in community work.
Clare says she owes it all to ECHG’s support.
“I am so grateful for the Teenage Parents
Project. My support worker had such a positive
influence on me and I wouldn’t be where I am
today without her.”
Since it was set up five years ago, ECHG’s
Teenage Parents Project, in Derbyshire, has
helped over 200 young parents to rebuild their
lives and provide more stable, secure homes for
Through ECHG, we work with some of the most
vulnerable people across the country, running
a range of supported housing projects for
homeless people, including specialist provision
for those with drugs, alcohol and mental
Based on a true tenant story, names have
Supporting over 3,000 people
Award winning services
ECHG is one of the country’s largest providers
of supported housing and floating support
— direct access services
— dispersed and specialist accommodation
— move-on accommodation
— floating support services.
We provide a range of services designed to help:
— vulnerable women
— people with learning disabilities
— homeless families
— ex-armed services personnel
— young parents
— rough sleepers
— people with drug and alcohol dependency.
ECHG’s supported housing services have
attracted national recognition both from the
care and the housing sectors. In the last five
years we have won:
— The Community Care Awards for
Excellence in Drug & Alcohol Services.
— National UK Housing Awards for
Excellence in Tackling Homelessness.
— The National UK Housing Awards
overall category for Excellence in
Housing in England.
However, we don’t just see these successes as
endorsements of our innovation and expertise.
They also present an opportunity to share best
practice and we have been asked to run Best
Practice Seminars at national events such as
the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference,
the National Social Services Conference and
the National Homeless Link Conference.
We work in partnership with over 50 local
authorities to deliver a wide range of services.
We work closely with them to deliver
specifications for services that meet their
needs and that successfully fit into their
existing range of service options.
We are proud that many of our schemes
regularly achieve across-the-board ‘A’s and ‘B’s
in their Supporting People Quality Assessment
Framework results – one of the few organisations
to achieve this.
Looking ahead, we are already working
with local authorities on the new Local Area
Agreement regimes which will help join up
public services more effectively and allow
greater flexibility for solutions to local
Unemployed trio Adam Hughes, Liam Harrison
and Joey Phinnigan all secured full-time jobs
with our joint-venture recycling company, Circle,
following a placement with Liverpool City
Council’s Transitional Employment Programme.
Commenting on his role, Liam Harrison said:
“Enrolling with the Liverpool City Council
Transitional Employment programme was one
of the best moves I have made because it led to
me gaining full-time employment with Circle.
A year ago I wasn’t working and was in a bit
of a rut as I felt I had nothing worthwhile to get
out of bed for. But now I am earning a wage
and have made some great new friends, whilst
doing something good for the environment –
and I don’t even mind the early starts!”
To find out more about Circle, please visit
Decent homes, active resident involvement
and community investment are only part of
the answer when revitalising neighbourhoods
in the long term.
As part of our service delivery, we look at
ways of increasing the financial prosperity
of residents, by creating local employment
opportunities and offering financial advice
to those who need it.
As Keith Hutton, one of seven trained benefits
advisors, explains: “Many people are missing out
on benefits because they find the system hard
to understand, are embarrassed about claiming,
or simply don’t realise they are entitled. Yet the
money is rightfully theirs and could make a big
difference to their weekly income.”
But benefits advice is only one aspect of our
work. We actively encourage all our business
partners to employ locally within the areas
they will serve, and we support local authority
initiatives such as Liverpool City Council’s
Transitional Employment Programme.
We are also tackling financial exclusion within
our neighbourhoods by offering affordable
financial services such as loans and insurance
to those who would traditionally struggle to
One such example is Moneyline, a St. Helens
based service funded by the Department of
Work and Pensions that provides loans to
customers that banks may traditionally decline.
Many of them are forced to use doorstep
lenders who charge high interest rates –
this only sends them deeper into financial
difficulties. The Moneyline service aims to
provide an affordable alternative to doorstep
lenders whilst helping customers to manage
their money and become more confident with
— In 2007 we helped our customers claim a
total of £451,026 of additional benefits in
— We provided £211,900 funding for credit
unions – the financial cooperatives owned
and controlled by members.
— Since 2006, the Riverside Impact Fund has
created 13 jobs and 103 training places.
— Since October 2008, Moneyline has
provided 513 loans totalling £212,200.
New affordable homes
Shelley is happy to show people around her new
home. When she was first told that she had to
move as part of a Liverpool regeneration
scheme, her heart sank.
A few months later, she and her family moved
into a brand new, modern development nearby,
and she now thinks it’s everything she could
have wished for.
“Naturally, when I was told my old home was
going to be demolished and I had to move,
I was a bit worried. But I have settled in great.
It’s so modern and well finished off. I am really
pleased with my new place.”
As well as the attractive, modern kitchen,
bathroom and fittings, the design of Shelley’s
house is eco-friendly and insulated to a high
standard, helping to keep fuel bills low. Built by
WAVE, a Riverside commercial venture, the
house has an insulated, timber-panel system.
Not only does the manufacture and construction
of a WAVE property use approximately 30% less
timber than a traditional home, it also reduces
waste by 50%.
“I love this house,” says Shelley. “I really
wouldn’t want to go back to the old place.”
As well as properties for affordable rent, we also
offer a full range of shared ownership options,
allowing buyers to purchase a percentage of
their property and rent the remainder.
Our innovative Own Place project has
released 60 improved terraced homes to
people struggling to get on the housing ladder
Own Place: a helping hand
Gemma and Cameron bought a house for
nearly £20,000 less than its full market value,
thanks to Own Place.
The scheme offers a 25% discount on empty
properties on the condition that the buyers live
there themselves, stay at least five years and
don’t rent it out. The scheme not only tackles
the affordable housing crisis but also revitalises
streets blighted by the eyesore of boarded-up
properties, and the issues associated with
buy-to-let landlords and short-term tenants.
Gemma said: “We’ve been trying to save for a
house for ages and probably wouldn’t have
managed it without this scheme.
“Riverside fitted new UPVC windows and front
door, gas central heating and a damp proof
course, and upgraded the electrics before we
moved in. We’re fitting our own kitchen and
bathroom with help from family and friends
to save on cost.”
To find out more about Own Place, please visit
— The Riverside Partnership, which includes
Regenda, Vicinity, Guinness Northern
Counties, TWIN Valley Homes and New
Progress, has invested £77.1m to build
approximately 1,500 homes between
2008 and 2011.
— We were awarded the third largest
allocation in the National Affordable
Housing Programme – £63 million from
— In 2008 we built 338 new homes for rent,
shared ownership or outright sale.
Cleaner, greener, safer
As 72-year-old Doreen walks to the community
centre from her flat, she passes a very different
scene from one which would have greeted her
five years ago.
The local centre, once a target for gangs,
graffiti and vandalism is now much safer and
cleaner. And Doreen, a tenant of 17 years,
thinks the introduction of Riverside Wardens
has made a big difference.
The gangs have dispersed, the flats are more
secure, and tenants who once felt vulnerable
have the confidence to get out and about
without feeling intimidated.
Only last year, Doreen joined families in a clean
sweep of the local centre, organised by Halton
Neighbourhood Management Partnership –
which includes police, fire and rescue, waste
management services and local landlords.
Together they painted fences, removed graffiti,
picked up litter and cut back shrubs.
Tenants tell us consistently that the quality
of their living environment is one of their chief
concerns; it’s one of the main reasons they
would want to stay in a neighbourhood – or
move away from it.
For at least two decades we’ve been involved
in initiatives to improve neighbourhoods.
Now it has become central to what we do.
At a local level, we spend over £1million a
year on a range of programmes, including
neighbourhood wardens, environmental ‘hit
squads’ and diversionary activities to address
anti-social behaviour. On a larger scale, we are
securing significant funding, through the Big
Lottery and Neighbourhood Management
Pathfinders, to help us make the lasting
changes that we, and our tenants, want to see.
Green Spaces for People, a partnership between
Riverside, Places for People and Peabody Trust,
has secured £15.6 million from the Big Lottery
Fund’s Changing Spaces programme.
It is one of the biggest environmental projects
to be carried out by the housing sector. The aim
is to connect people with their local land by
providing green spaces where they can play and
relax, with health, social and cultural benefits
for each generation in the neighbourhood.
From food co-operatives (which grow their
own fruit and vegetables sold cheaply within
the community) to the provision of green
play spaces to encourage sports and outdoor
activities, our Green Spaces projects help to
reduce anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods,
and foster a sense of pride and ownership.
Neighbourhood management at work
Tranmere Together is a Neighbourhood
Management Pathfinder (NMP) project
involving Riverside, The Regenda Group, local
residents, police, the council, primary care
trusts and voluntary organisations. It’s another
example of our commitment to creating better
places to live through a co-ordinated approach
to partnership working.
Tranmere Together has achieved:
— 70% resident satisfaction with their
neighbourhood, compared with 64%
three years ago
— 35% reduction in reports of fly-tipping in
the first three months of the NMP
— 28% drop in arson from the previous year
— 50% reduction in the number of people
who feel threatened by burglary,
reflecting a real decrease in the number
of burglaries taking place.
“I went round to look at one property which had
been offered to a young couple and I wasn’t
happy at all with the work the contractors
had done,” said Edna. “The plastering work
was unfinished and they had made a real
mess of one of the bedroom doors. I contacted
Riverside straight away, and they sent workmen
along the next day to sort it out.”
Edna is a tenant inspector in Carlisle, one of
21 across Riverside that we’ve trained to do
quality inspections. When tenants have
moved out, and before new tenants move
in, she passes a sharp eye over some of our
properties, as well as reporting on the condition
of communal areas and aspects such as
Riverside’s communications standards. Our
tenant inspectors give us valuable feedback
from the viewpoint of those who matter most
– our tenants.
“I know what is acceptable and what isn’t,”
said Edna. “I tell the staff at Riverside exactly
what I think, and they seem to appreciate that.”
Resident involvement has always been
important to us, and now more than ever.
Our growth enables us to support more than
85,000 people, but that also means that, to
get it right for them, we need to know what
they really think.
We try to speak to all our tenants at some
point during the year, through market research
and our Tenants’ Panel, which regularly gives
us their views on a range of issues.
But getting tenants’ views is just the first stage.
We’ve stepped up our Resident Involvement
programme, with additional support for our
national Tenants’ and Residents’ Federation
and the Tenants’ Resource Centre. Tenants
can get involved at all levels – from Board
membership or Tenant Federation membership
to local tenants’ and residents’ groups, and
Neighbourhood Services Panels.
In 2007, our resident involvement review
looked at how tenants are involved in our
business. As a result, we are introducing:
— a Tenants’ Federation structure, involving
tenants from all parts of the Group with
members nominated by divisional tenants’
and residents’ groups
— a system for selecting tenant Board
members, open to applications from all
tenants in the area, and involving the
— Neighbourhood Services Panels to
scrutinise service quality and service
standards at local level.
We take regular surveys about the services we
provide, such as repairs and maintenance and
anti-social behaviour procedures. We ask about
tenants’ overall satisfaction with what we do and
the opportunities they’ve had for involvement.
To find out more about tenant involvement,
please visit www.riverside.org.uk/tenants
We will continue to support local tenants’
groups – at street, scheme or local area level –
with funding and resources.
Our latest figures show:
— 79% of tenants are satisfied, overall, with
the service we provide
— 77% of tenants are satisfied with the
repairs and maintenance service we provide
— 85% are satisfied, overall, with how we
keep them informed
— 72% are satisfied with how we take their
views into account
— 78% are satisfied, overall, with the quality
of their home.
Empowering our employees
A winning combination of determination,
self-belief and a supportive employer has seen
mother-of-three Maureen Pringle rise through
the ranks to become a Senior Manager at ECHG.
Maureen’s success story started when she
joined a Positive Action scheme, aimed at
attracting Black Minority Ethnic Group workers
into the housing sector. “I had just had my first
child. I was an unemployed, single mum and I
knew I needed to pursue a career – instead of
just jobs to pay the bills – for both myself and
my daughter,” said Maureen.
She joined ECHG in 1995 as a part-time
administrator, progressing to Supported Housing
Officer four years later. Despite juggling work
commitments with a part-time psychology
degree and two young children, Maureen was
determined to progress her career further still.
“I’ve always taken responsibility for my
own development – looking at what skills or
experience I needed to progress and taking a
pro-active approach to getting them,”
Maureen said. “At the same time, I have
always had great managers who have
encouraged me and supported my ambitions.”
Following an ECHG restructure, Maureen gained
management experience: first, as Service
Delivery Officer, and then as a project manager
for ECHG’s Tenancy Support Service. The merger
with Riverside opened the door to further
opportunities when Maureen secured the new
role of Performance Manager, managing all
the supported and sheltered schemes across
Merseyside and a 75-strong staff team.
Maureen’s progress reflects the importance
that we place on training and development.
We are committed to engaging and motivating
employees, providing the option of a rewarding
career path for those who want it, but also
creating satisfying and valuable roles for those
who wish to specialise at their current grade.
At Riverside we are fully committed to the
ongoing development of our people. The
Blueprint Development Framework ensures
that from day one, all new employees take
part in learning that is relevant to their role.
This includes a structured induction
programme, which is facilitated through
‘e-start’, our online learning tool.
The ongoing development of our people is
supported by a performance appraisal process
that focuses on developing the skills and
behaviours required to be successful.
Training and development is complemented by
a suite of employee benefits. Depending on an
employee’s role, these can include flexible
working, a family-friendly policy, 25-30 days’
annual holiday (depending on length of service)
and a defined benefit pension scheme. There is
a phone-based employee advice service, and
Reward Gateway, a shopping discount scheme,
offers cash back from more than 1,300 retailers.
We offer a welcoming and supportive culture
for all employees. We work closely with our
dedicated staff groups, representing disabled
and Black Minority Ethnic (BME) employees;
we are also committed to providing a positive
environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) colleagues.
For information about career opportunities
within Riverside, please visit
Staff survey headlines:
— 89% of our people like the kind of work
— 94% actively share good practice with
other members of the organisation
— 95% are keen to tackle new challenges
— 85% are happy that they have the skills
they need to deal with customers
— 81% believe Riverside values diversity.
Doing more for our money
Housing associations operate in a constantly
changing environment. The Government is
challenging us to become less reliant on central
funding and to seek new ways to address the
affordable housing agenda.
We have been ahead of the game on this for
some time now. We are already involved in two
commercial joint ventures and have our own
development subsidiary, Prospect (GB).
We have shown that it is possible for a not-forprofit,
social organisation to successfully
operate commercial ventures that provide local
employment opportunities and support our
Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.
The surplus generated from these activities
goes back into our housing and regeneration
business. This allows us to do more work to
revitalise communities and improve the quality
of life for thousands of our customers.
Our commercial enterprises
WAVE homes – a wholly owned subsidiary,
Wave provide a modern construction solution
that uses an insulated timber panel system
to produce low carbon buildings that are
ecological, thermally efficient and cost
effective. The average four-person WAVE home
uses 30% less timber, produces 50% less waste
and can be heated for as little as £36 per year.
For more information on Wave homes,
please visit www.wavehomes.com
Circle – a joint venture with G&J Seddon
and PLUS Housing Group. Circle recycles local
construction waste, preventing 85% of all
the waste it handles from going into landfill.
By using Circle, construction companies can
avoid paying landfill tax and can contribute
toward a better environment.
For more information on Circle, please
Compendium – Compendium carries out
large scale place-making, urban renewal and
regeneration projects. It is now into the
third year of the major regeneration of an
ex-National Coal Board estate in Stoke-on-
Trent, a failing estate is being transformed
and a thriving new community being created.
More recently, Compendium has been
appointed preferred bidder for another major
project in Yorkshire, and is also in dialogue
with other local authorities in the North and
Midlands over plans for new joint ventures
and local housing company pilots.
For more information on Compendium,
please visit www.compendiumgroup.co.uk
Prospect (GB) – Riverside’s highly successful
property development subsidiary. A wholly
owned subsidiary, with a combined commercial
and residential property portfolio valued at
For more information on Prospect, please visit
National profile and policy
We are working in extraordinary times.
Housing has shot to the top of the political
agenda, as rising house prices over recent
years have fuelled a national affordability
crisis and first time buyers have struggled
to get a foot on the ladder.
As one of the top five housing associations in
the country, we must be involved in the debate
about these challenges, influencing the future
shape of affordable housing provision rather
than waiting for events to unfold.
The Government has responded with a
demanding target to build 3 million extra
homes by 2020, providing over £8 billion of
funding for affordable housing from 2008-11.
A new Housing and Regeneration Act has
created two new national bodies: the Homes
and Communities Agency to oversee the
delivery of new homes and regeneration; and
the Tenant Services Authority, a new regulator
for social housing. But delivery will not be
straightforward. We are now seeing a
plummeting housing market, compounded by
an international ‘credit crunch’.
How are we increasing
We are actively involved with partners and
stakeholders at national, regional and local
level. Whether it is through the National
Housing Federation, Strategic Housing
Partnerships or Local Strategic Partnerships
we are right at the centre of discussions and
decisions about affordable housing.
We respond to Government consultations
about its housing policies and programmes
– submitting written responses and giving
evidence to the House of Commons select
We actively lobby local councillors and MPs
– briefing them, meeting them and holding
events in Parliament to listen and respond to
their concerns and to tell them about our work
and the challenges ahead.
We commission research – ensuring that new
and innovative programmes are underpinned
by the best evidence available and working
with leading academic thinkers to look at how
we tackle issues such as worklessness.
As well as influencing policy, we must also show
that we are an effective and responsible
partner – that our objectives and priorities are
aligned with local, regional and national
priorities, and that we are making a real
contribution to meet the challenges of our times.
Our corporate planning process does exactly
that, and in a more open and consultative way
than ever before. By systematically analysing
the context and environment in which we are
operating, and by engaging with stakeholders
as we develop our corporate strategies, we
can demonstrate a clear and explicit link
between our investment and activities, and
the concerns of customers, Government and
We have been working with four of the country’s
largest housing association groups as ‘The
Housing Futures Network’, to contribute to
the national debate about the need for
fundamental reform in affordable housing.
Together we have published a report ‘Homes
for Tomorrow: New Directions for Housing
Policy’, which challenges the current model for
providing affordable housing and sets out a
vision for housing policy which maximises
choice and opportunities for residents, and
helps support the neighbourhoods they live in.
A full copy of the report is available on our
Maureen remembers the exact date and time
she moved into her home in Canning, Liverpool
city centre. “It was 15th September, 1975 at
11am – and I’ve lived in this same flat ever
since. As soon as I walked in and saw the lovely
big kitchen, I thought – this is where I want to
stay and put my roots down. And I don’t plan
to move – I think they’ll have to put a stairlift
in for me eventually!”
Back in those days, we were Liverpool
Improved Houses and Maureen’s seen many
changes. “Everyone wants to live here now –
it wasn’t like that 10 or 20 years ago.” Riverside
continues to improve the properties, and a
recent refurbishment programme included
redecorating the communal areas, upgrading
some of the fittings in the flats and putting in
the added security of intercoms.
But it’s not just the flat itself that keeps
Maureen loyal to her Riverside home. “There’s
a strong feeling of community here – and
Riverside has been well ahead of other landlords
for tenant participation. I got involved back in
the ’80s, when some tenants were invited to be
on the management committee of Merseyside
Improved Houses – as it was then – for the first
time. I wasn’t particularly confident back then
but I remember Dave Wiseman, my local
Housing Officer, encouraging me to get
involved and represent my fellow tenants.”
Maureen has been actively involved ever since,
recently working with other residents, councillors
and local landlords, including Riverside, to bring
in a much-needed residents’ parking scheme.
We’ve come a long way since 1928. So has
society and its expectations – and rightly so.
From 15 houses in Liverpool in 1928 to more
than 50,000 homes across 204 local authorities
in 2009, Riverside has grown, enhancing the
lives of more than 85,000 people.
But it’s about much more than numbers. The
first feasibility study conducted by Liverpool
Improved Houses in 1928 tells a story of
multi-family occupation in “rabbit warren
slums” and a mother and her little boy living
in “cellar accommodation”.
Thankfully, those days are gone, but now
we have the challenges of worklessness,
anti-social behaviour and short-term buy-to-lets
to contend with. A collapsing property market
and unstable financial conditions differ greatly
from the problems of 1928; but they ensure the
issue of affordable housing remains a top
For over 80 years, we have been driven by the
desire, determination and ability to successfully
transform lives and revitalise neighbourhoods.
We are proud of our past – but we are
passionate about our future.
At the beginning of this booklet we introduced
our vision of transforming lives, revitalising
Our group objectives to 2011 are to:
transform lives by…
— delivering excellent housing services
— acquiring and building more
— supporting vulnerable residents to live
with dignity in their own homes
— helping our residents become
revitalise neighbourhoods by…
— improving our homes so they are decent,
modern and warm
— focusing our services in places where we
can make a difference
— managing places so that they are cleaner,
greener and safer.
Audit and Risk
— Central hub
— North hub
— South hub
Customer Service Centre
24 hours a day, 365 days a year
0845 111 0000
With inclusive call packages or mobile phones,
it may be cheaper to call 0345 111 0000
We are happy to accept Typetalk calls
Minicom: 0845 111 7766
The Riverside Group Ltd
2 Estuary Boulevard,
Estuary Commerce Park,
Liverpool L24 8RF
A charitable Industrial and
Regulated by the
Tenant Services Authority
Details correct at time of printing