Corporate Plan 2024-31 Our challenges

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Jigsaw Homes Group is embarking on this plan with solid foundations in place.

We are successful as a developer of new homes and have a track record of winning and retaining support service contracts.

As an employer we achieved Best Companies 2 Star “outstanding” status and hold ISO45001 occupational health and safety certification in two front-line services and have aligned to its principles across our Group. Maintaining these foundations is essential to our plans.

The strategic challenges are ones we share with other social housing providers and in some cases with other organisations and individuals in the UK. In the main, the challenges revolve around resources and the competing demands on our own money and on the funds that we can access from Government.

Housing crisis

The UK has been consistently building fewer homes each year than changes in population and household make-up require. The excess of demand over supply has created rising property prices and rental costs, making housing unaffordable for many.

At Jigsaw, we have many thousands of people in housing need registered for our properties, but are only able to house a small proportion, who have often waited months or years in unsuitable accommodation. Underlying the crisis of supply of affordable housing, has
been political uncertainty. The UK has had no long-term housing plan and has experienced frequent changes to national rent policies and regulations, all of which deters the investment needed by the sector.

Jigsaw remains committed to maximising the number of new homes it can develop, operating efficiently to create financial surpluses that can be invested in development. Because the income earned  from social housing is below market rates, public subsidy (government grant) is needed to help fund the development of new properties. The proportion of a new home’s cost funded by government grant has fallen, placing a constraint on our ability to build the desperately needed homes.

Low carbon economy

The UK is committed by law to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Around one-sixth of CO2 emissions in the UK comes from domestic housing – in particular, heating – placing Jigsaw’s work at the core of the move to a low carbon economy.

New alternatives to gas central heating are emerging, but solutions are not yet evident for all housing types. Moreover, the cost of installing non-gas alternatives is much higher and is also likely to increase the running costs for people living in those homes.

Jigsaw will remain an active player in finding solutions to these challenges, as well as introducing changes to its operations to reduce other sources of CO2 emissions (e.g. fleet and offices) and helping employees and customers adopt low carbon lifestyles.

Maintaining decent homes standard

Around one-half of Jigsaw’s housing stock was transferred from local authority ownership in the 2000s and underwent improvement works. During the period of this plan, most of those homes will once again need kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors to be replaced.

This will require a change in our strategy; employing major locality-based maintenance programmes instead of replacing components when they fail or when the property is empty.

Our challenge will be to combine this more traditional planned maintenance approach with modern methods that ensure value for money and minimise inconvenience for customers whose homes are being worked on.

Underfunding of public services

While public expenditure increased during the Covid pandemic, the budgets of services complementary to Jigsaw’s – local government, police – have been under pressure and experienced real-term reductions since 2010. Many of our customers have relied on these services which are now reduced.

Our aim is to develop and target services which can help our customers live successfully in their homes. Jigsaw Support provides a range of services, often commissioned by local authorities, to vulnerable people. Our money advice, tenancy support and safeguarding services are further examples of how we will operate in this evolving landscape of local service provision.

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