Our year in review 

With nearly 57,000 properties, 130,000 residents and plans to build up to 1,900 new homes a year by 2022, Sovereign is a leading housing association.

In the first full year since our merger in 2016, we have delivered significant financial savings and we’ll continue to focus on delivering more value for every pound we spend, while maintaining our commitment to providing a great customer experience.

Find out more about our year:

A view from the Chair

Gordon Holdcroft

Gordon Holdcroft - Chair

"The communities where we work are under pressure.

"There’s a housing crisis. There’s a recognised need for far more new, and especially affordable, homes. New homes that help communities and economies grow stronger.

"There’s an affordability crisis too. Although unemployment remains low, ongoing welfare reform and often insecure low-paid work is putting stress on many households’ finances, even those in affordable homes. Meanwhile, the ability to rent and buy on the open market continues to move out of reach of those who aspire to have a place of their own.

"As one of the UK’s biggest housing associations, delivering one of the largest affordable housing development programmes and providing a range of added value services, Sovereign has a crucial role to play in meeting these challenges."

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Mark Washer - Chief Executive

“With a new Strategic Partnership agreed with Homes England, as well as an innovative Joint Venture with West Berkshire Council, we’re already taking major steps to build more of the homes our communities need, even more quickly.

"However, with strong financial and operational foundations, and a refreshed strategy for the next five years, Sovereign is in a great position to meet those challenges.”

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Mark washer

Our highlights

Last year, we generated £378m income from rents, external work, open market sales and shared ownership sales, leaving us with a £104m surplus - £15m more than in 2016/17. This means that we have the financial clout to borrow more money to invest in building more homes. 

Our financial strength also means we can protect our social rents - with no conversion to affordable rent on relet. We’re also increasing our social value each year, as well as investing in our residents.

A major business

We’re a not-for-profit organisation with a sector-leading reputation and, based on our net asset value, the heft of a FTSE-250 business.

We use this organisational strength, along with funding from government, banking and capital markets, to invest in growing our business, building and maintaining more affordable homes, while delivering services to those that need them.

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A major business slide

A leading developer

Building new homes is central to our strategy. As well as meeting housing need, every new home generates significant value for money, as they increase our income potential and our asset value. 

But we can’t do this alone, and joint ventures will help us to continue to deliver affordable and market sale homes. In this year, four joint ventures were in start-up phase. Collaborating to share expertise and risk, we will continue to pursue partnerships with public and private sectors where they add value.

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A leading developer slide

A great landlord

As well as great services, we want to provide a great customer experience too. We have high-performing teams, providing sector-leading services to residents. We do what we say we will when it comes to repairs, with 95% of residents saying that they are happy with our responsive repairs. 

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A great landlord slide

A great customer experience

We want to make life easy for our residents. Our new customer experience portal MySovereign means that people can report repairs, schedule appointments and pay rent all in one place. Last year, 10,000 residents signed up to use the portal, which will offer annualised savings of more than £500k from 2018/19 onwards. But we offer other ways to keep in touch too - from social media to the traditional phone lines, where we aim to answer all calls within 30 seconds.

However, we also offer more than that - the joined-up thinking that links our customer contact team with our trades operatives, and our trades operatives with our housing teams - means that we try to support our residents emotionally and financially as well.  

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A great customer experience slide

Our values

Find out more from our employees about our four key values, and the ways that we do our best to provide a great service to our residents, while embracing the challenge of change. Everyone at Sovereign is asked to apply these values to their daily working life.

We ensure that we are accountable, taking personal responsibility and being trusted to do the right thing. We have the drive to deliver, working with energy, enthusiasm and passion to get things done - and we do what we say we will. We work together, collaborating with colleagues and partners so everybody benefits. And finally, we are adaptable - as we embrace change, think ahead and find new ways of delivering a better customer experience.