We have posted a strong financial performance after investing £167m in building new homes as part of our plans to spend £2billion in the local economy over the next 10 years.
As the largest housing association in the South West, we currently manage 37,384 homes across the region.
We have released our annual report and financial statements which show a £90m operating surplus - a £9m increase on last year.
Our financial figures have laid solid foundations for us to build a further 15,000 homes over the next 10 years.
Our investment plans will sustain 7,000 jobs in the building and supply chain, protecting livelihoods and offering fresh opportunities.
Over the past year we have built 1,245 homes across the South West, which sees us rise from 14th to ninth for housing completions of the top 50 housing associations in the United Kingdom.
We built 1,158 new homes for rent and shared ownership in the last financial year, marking a 33% increase on the previous year, as well as 87 properties for open market.
We are ranked seventh nationally for the delivery of new social rented home (494) and fifth for new affordable rented homes (289), underlining our commitment to helping people access housing in an area where the average house price is regularly 10 times the average salary.
Our Chief Executive Paul Crawford said: “We have had another year of strong progress and remain in good shape for the future.
“Our financial figures provide the springboard for us to continue with our ambitious growth strategy where the focus of our development programme is very much on providing desperately needed affordable homes across the South West.
“Behind our financial and development figures is the story of how LiveWest has put social purpose, the quality of the homes we develop, health and safety and the needs of our customers at the heart of everything we do.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, we use our surplus to reinvest in our homes and communities, and to build more affordable housing.
“The operating surplus we have recorded is already being reinvested into building much-needed homes across the region.
“We are also keeping up momentum with the investment in our existing properties having spent £57m in maintaining and improving homes for our current customers.
“This will ensure that our homes remain great places to live, as well as protecting our investment for the future.
“Deepening our customer relationships is pivotal for LiveWest and are sustained efforts to meet our customers’ needs are highlighted with an 89% satisfaction rate.
“In reflecting on the year’s achievements and challenges, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the unprecedented events that unfolded in the last quarter of the year associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have understandably had to adapt with pace in how we work to ensure that we continue to invest in our existing homes and places, improve services for customers and keep building new genuinely affordable homes in these exceptionally challenging circumstances.”
Our growth ambitions have been further accelerated thanks to the Homes England Strategic Partnership agreement having received, in conjunction with our partner Sovereign Housing, additional funding to deliver 2,775 new homes by March 2025.
The extra funding is part of the government’s strategy to ensure 300,000 new homes are built year on year until 2025.
Paul Crawford added: “The total funding of £136m has allowed us to focus in greater detail on strengthening our landbank to ensure we have sufficient opportunities secured to meet our funding obligations and ambitious growth plans.
“It means we can accelerate existing development pipeline, look for new opportunities and utilise our relationships with private developers to increase affordable homes across the region.”
We have completed 139 new affordable homes in Cornwall, 583 in Devon, 133 in Somerset and 264 in the West of England as well as 39 additional homes outside its geography. The remainder were for outright sale.
Our financial strength is further underlined after Moody’s Investors Service maintained its A2 stable credit rating, emphasising the quality of our financial base and management.
Moody’s Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis and the A2 rating puts us among the top ratings for finance in the sector.
Melvyn Garrett, our Group Finance Director at LiveWest, said: “The rating recognises the strength of LiveWest’s social housing business, and track record in managing shared ownership and open-market sales activities and means that LiveWest will be able to borrow money for development more cheaply, meaning greater investment in affordable homes for local people.”
As well as building new homes, we have also invested £2m in a wide range of community investment activities as part of our drive to focus on the social fabric that makes communities successful.
We are one of the region’s largest employers with 1,446 skilled and enthusiastic staff and welcomed 23 apprentices across the organisation in the last year.