Goal: Reinvestment Reserve 

"Deliver the approved Reinvestment Reserve projects by March 2015."

Strategic context

In 2002, the Government introduced a national formula (Rent Restructuring) to calculate the rents to be charged by all social landlords, based upon local average earnings and capital values. This was designed to achieve a level playing field between all social landlords by 2012.

Because this resulted in higher rents for Rooftop tenants, this goal was introduced to recycle all the additional income generated by Rent Restructuring (£8 million) into a Reserve that was then to be used for additional investment in homes and services chosen by residents through several consultation exercises. 

This programme was completed in March 2015.

What we have done

1: Video cameras (sheltered and supported housing) (2009-13)
The introduction of 24-hour video monitoring of the communal and open spaces within sheltered and supported housing schemes provides greater security for residents and acts as a significant deterrent to illegal activities such as burglary, vandalism and drug dealing thus helping the quality of life for supported residents. This project was completed in March 2013 and provided improved security at schemes and the potential to reduce anti social behaviour and vandalism costs.

2: Solar/Photovoltaic sources (2010-13)
This project explored the use of solar technology and Air Source heat pump technology within homes to measure the benefits to residents, and the return of the investment achieved. In partnership with Wychavon District Council 83 homes in local villages have received Solar Photo-voltaic panels. By fitting the PV panels there will be an estimated saving of £150 per annum per household and a saving of £13,000 per annum for Rooftop to further invest in the local economy. With this saving there will be an increased sap rating of about seven points per property.

3: Air Source Heat Pumps (2010-13)
In October 2012, Rooftop installed 13 air heat pump systems across three villages in Worcestershire. These homes did not have the benefit of gas and had poor performing electric storage heaters and now they have a modern heating system. This means an estimated saving of £600 per annum for residents and an increased sap rating of 10 points per property.

4: External lights (with motion sensors) for bungalows (2010-13)
This project simply improves the security of up to 800 bungalows through location of an automatic external light covering the main access to the bungalows so that any visitors are visible to occupants opening their doors and also as an aid for residents in the dark as they approach or leave their home. This project has now been completed and we have installed a total 772 front external lights.

5: Deliver a programme of external cladding to identified homes. (100 homes funded from the re-investment reserve) (2011-14)
Rooftop's lowest SAP rated homes are homes built of solid wall construction in rural areas with no access to main gas supplies. These homes will benefit from external thermal cladding costing £1.2 million that will increase thermal efficiency by 45% and deliver an average fuel cost saving of up to 35% (estimate based on an end terrace 3 bedroom house with fuel bill of £1150 per annum reducing to £758). This work is now complete for 77 of these homes, with the remainder incorporated into another project due to issues with external power supplies. Fuel savings are being monitored.

6: Community Fund (2010-14)
This project was introduced so that the Customer Panel could support specific initiatives within communities that need pump priming with a little financial support from a budget of £100,000 for 2012 and 2013.
The scheme has been very popular, with a number of grants being made.

Some £28,155 of community funding was allocated in 2014/15. Projects supported have included an art therapy project for people with disabilities, local playgrounds, youth centres and uniformed groups and a community shop.

The grant process has now been incorporated into the Community Investment Strategy.

7: Car park ‘hot spots’ (2010-15)
This project recognises that many estates were designed for much lower levels of car ownership and that most households prefer to park their vehicle within their own curtilage or very close to their property. In many areas residents are driving over wide grass verges to access their own property. Quite a few of these are owner occupiers. To avoid taking unpopular enforcement action this project was introduced to facilitate new drives, verge crossings and shared roads with tenants paying a slight increase in rent and owners paying a market price for the improvement to their property value.

8: Pocket parks (including CCTV) (2012-15)
The development of pocket parks within our estates sought to make better leisure use of the large open grass areas that we own and maintain, which have little amenity value to residents. Our first project was completed at Jubilee Gardens in Bengeworth working with Wychavon District to produce a much used play area and a very attractive environment, including a wild flower meadow. Local residents have formed a Friends of Jubilee Gardens group, to arrange events at the park, and raise funds for further improvements.

Since then in 2014, a new ‘pocket park’ has been created on a small area of land to the front of Badsey Remembrance Hall. It has been designed around a ‘pirate’ theme and features a range of child-friendly equipment including a climbing frame, a special alligator see-saw and a pirate ship. The space has also been re-turfed with new landscaping and fences. In total, the project cost around £55,000 with funding from Rooftop, Badsey and Aldington Parish Council and support from Wychavon District Council, and the Opportunity Vale of Evesham Project.

In 2014/15 the Community Fund contributed £10,000 for the provision of play equipment for disabled children at Crown Meadow, Evesham.

9: Extended Living (depends on suitability of property) (2013-15)
Rooftop has large number (approximately 600) of one-bedroom bungalows, many in rural locations. Whilst there is no lack of demand for these properties, many older residents are reluctant to give up their family home and move to a one bedroom bungalow due to the lack of room for visitors and relatives. They prefer to await the availability of two bedroom bungalows. Rooftop now only builds two-bedroom bungalows and this project look to add an additional room to existing bungalows where feasible to improve overall mobility within our stock.

We have completed three properties where medical issues have been highlighted so that nurses and relatives can stay. We have now moved to implementation as suitable voids become available. In addition this project is used to provide an additional an bedroom to assist families who suffer from significant overcrowding that would be alleviated by the works; where there is no suitable alternative accommodation locally, and where the family has strong links to the area where they wish to remain. This project has now been merged with the extended porches project.

10: Extended porches (ground floor WC’s) (2013-15)
This project was specifically aimed at improving the flexibility of smaller family homes that were not built with ground floor WC’s so that older residents could remain in their own homes instead of seeking scarce one level accommodation. It provided for the addition of a small extension porch entrance and WC to suitable properties. It recognised that a rapidly ageing population means that most older residents will not have an opportunity to move into more suitable accommodation and their properties will need adaptation to meet their needs. This project is now completed.