Chair's Report

As your new Chair this is my first report to shareholders. I’ve been a board member for 6 years and was elected Chair in September 2017. I was conscious both of stepping into some big shoes, but also the very busy agenda we have.

Welfare reform has been a challenge to date, but our investment in staff and the relationships we have invested in have paid off, and we have seen very little increase in rent arrears by the year end. However, Universal Credit began to be rolled out in February this year and we are still concerned about the impact on tenants.

We are proud of our social purpose and the difference we make. As well as providing new homes, our housing and support teams have adopted a “restorative approach” to change the way we work with tenants and are starting see the benefit. Realise Your Potential (RYP) helped many tenants build confidence and skills. NuLife Furniture provides low cost furniture to make sure that no one has to spend their first night on the floor of their new home. Our private sector leasing team (Calon) sourced accommodation that housed over 300 families in need of temporary accommodation.

 

For many years we have been looking at how we can increase income to support our social purpose, and this year saw a major step up in commercial activity. We are already growing our market rental and sales activity, provide some development agency services, have developed some retail outlets and have also decided to build for market sale. We have purchased a site in Cardiff Bay and are setting up a commercial subsidiary company to improve the returns back into Cadwyn.

These developments are an exciting step forward for us. We are conscious however of the need to manage the increased risks by ensuring that we have the right skills and advice in place to ensure risks are managed. Last year we welcomed Sioned Hughes, Derek Walker, John Union and Cathy Madge onto our Board, having lost Karin Alderson whose skills we miss.

I would also like to mention my (and the Boards) gratitude to Iwan Jones who was our Chair for the previous four years, and who has remained on the board this year. Iwan’s greatest contribution was to build a team of board members who are proud of Cadwyn, and manage to create a culture of support and robust challenge that helps us move forward.

Lastly, I would like to thank all our partners including our tenants and our staff, for the efforts they make to make a difference to many people’s lives.

Judith James

Timeline

Much of our annual reporting provides information about finance and governance, but does little to tell the story about what goes on during the year.

To accompany this information is the following timeline that picks out some of our highlights and the focus of work throughout the year. These include:

GroBrain

GroBrain

Residents of Nightingale House were able to take advantage of “GroBrain” – a course helping parents to provide their babies with the foundations of emotional literacy.

Specifically adapted scheme

Specifically adapted scheme

We were pleased to handover to Cardiff Councils Adult Services Department a scheme specifically adapted for the needs of 9 residents with learning difficulties.

CanDo contractors update

A new budget year heralded the integration of asset management into CanDo Contractors to ensure all existing property matters were dealt with by one team.

New block of flats at Albany Road

Twenty four lucky tenants moved into a new block of flats on Albany Road, replacing a derelict garage that had blighted the street for years.

Albany Road

Albany Road

Digital Fridays

Our commitment to helping tenants gain more skills saw some attending “Digital Fridays”,  helping us to improve how we respond to tenants online and gain IT skills.

Ty Bronna

Also some tenants got involved in clearing and improving the woodland area at Ty Bronna.

Cadwyn Hyb

The summer months saw the start of the work improving facilities for tenants in the office (the Hyb), providing better space for groups to meet (including the Food Co-op, the Craft Group and the Service Improvement Team) and free access to IT facilities every day.

Newport Road development

Our largest scheme to date in Newport Road started on site, with a plan for 48 apartments for rent to be handed over at the end of 2018.

Cadwyn’s Big Get Together 2017

Cadwyn’s Big Get Together 2017

Cadwyn’s Big Get Together included our Fun Day, Tenant Awards and Annual General Meeting. This year the event had a wide range of activities and was held at the Cardiff and Vale College on Dumballs Road

The Wharf site

The Wharf site

Our mission to generate income to support our social purpose resulted in the purchase of the Wharf site on East Bute Dock. This scheme will include some homes for commercial sale as well as social rent and low cost home ownership.

New Chair of the Board elected

New Chair of the Board elected

Following the AGM, we needed to elect a new Chair and Judith James (the previous Vice Chair) was elected.

Staff survey results

Staff survey results

Staff were invited to take part in an independent survey to tell us what they thought of Cadwyn. 75% told us that they would recommend us to a friend as a place to work.

Cadwyn’s new group structure

Cadwyn’s new group structure

After a long period of research we decided that we would set up a group structure. This will help us bring resources back into Cadwyn from commercial activity which will be carried out in a separate company. The new company will be registered in 2018.

Welsh Government’s Supporting People Grant

In October, we took part in a joint campaign to draw attention to the value of Welsh Government’s Supporting People Grant. This is a fund that pays for personal support to vulnerable people who are struggling to maintain their tenancies. Our own experiences have shown that this fund can make a huge impact on individual lives.

Four Walls launched

Four Walls launched

At the other end of the spectrum we launched Four Walls, our estate agency dealing with market sales and lettings.

Get Into Construction course

Get Into Construction course

On the property side, we organised the “Get Into Construction” course for young people with our partners on the Mill (Lovell) and the Princes Trust, providing a taster of the opportunities in the construction industry.

Walk in her Shoes

Over 100 men from a wide range of organisations came together to walk a mile through central Cardiff in women’s shoes to raise awareness of men working to end violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Housing First pilot

Housing First pilot

We allocated the first home in Cardiff under the “Housing First” pilot. This is a new approach that provides a permanent home along with intensive support to someone who has been living on the street.

Innovative Container project

Innovative Container project

Following the creation of an innovation fund by Welsh Government, we secured the funding to build a “container project” to be used as temporary accommodation. The homes are demountable, meaning that they can be placed on sites prior to development and then moved to alternative locations when necessary.

New Calon website launched

New Calon website launched

Calon, our temporary accommodation project launched its own website as part of a plan to recruit more landlords and increase the supply to meet increasing demand.

Cadwyn achieves highest rating

Following a review by our Regulator, we achieved the highest rating for Governance and Landlord Services.

Universal Credit goes live in Cardiff

Universal Credit goes live in Cardiff

Following many years of intensive work with tenants to prepare them for Welfare Reform changes, Universal Credit went live in Cardiff with any change of circumstances triggering a claim

Construction on Cadwyn’s homes at The Mill begins

Construction on Cadwyn’s homes at The Mill begins

The first phase of the homes we will manage on the Mill, started on site with handovers predicted for late summer 2018.

Cadwyn’s Finances

What have we achieved?

Turnover
turnover

2017: £11.5m

2018: £11.5m

Surplus
surplus

2017: £0.831m

2018: £0.862m

Assets
assets

2017: £6.2m

2018: £7.0m

Our average collected vs collectable (rent collection) is 98%
Percentage of healthy staff days 96.52%
£11.1 million cash income in 2017
  • The homes we own
  • Specialist accommodation for people with support needs
  • Temporary accommodation scheme
  • Revenue Grants such as Supporting People Grants
  • Other Incomes such as CanDo Decorators, PV Panels, House Swap Wales
How Cadwyn spends each penny in a pound
  • Money we cant collect and have to write off
  • Other Costs
  • Loan repayments
  • Services to tenants and looking after our estates
  • Repairs and reinvestment

We’ve had a really busy twelve months and much of what has happened will shape the work in 18/19. Our big challenges include implementing the group structure and delivering a larger and more diverse development program. They also involve working with tenants on the outcome of our most recent tenant survey, and working with the Board to ensure continued strong governance. In terms of diversification we are continuing to focus on the growth of Four Walls, equipping ourselves to respond to changes in commissioning for supported housing, optimising the arrangements for temporary accommodation and achieving financial independence for Nu Life.  All of this continues on top of business as usual and making sure we are valued by staff and partners. We look forward to the year ahead.

With Thanks to:

Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, Partners, Lenders, Colleagues, Volunteers, Board Members, Staff & Tenants who helped us succeed.

We look forward to working with you in the future!