Kevin Dodd, Chief Executive at WDH, tells us more about their housing services and how they improve the lives of local people.
- Summarise your business in a couple of sentences
WDH is Wakefield’s biggest housing provider with over 31,000 rental properties. We have also built 1000 properties for sale, create hundreds of new jobs a year, receive over 6000 calls a week from older and vulnerable people and undertake over 500 building repairs each day. We are committed to improving the lives of local people by delivering the services and support that they need.
- Can you showcase your work by offering an example of a recent project/initiative/event?
WDH initiated, funded and created a joint venture called Bridge Homes to build affordable homes that local people could buy in the district.
We are also very proud of the recent launch of our tenant mobile app. As part of our strategy to become a digital business, we recognised that we needed to make our services accessible online. We’ve done a lot of work to support our tenants to get online including introducing Digital Angels who can give tenants training and advice, a digital suite at our Wakefield Hub and access to ICT at our service access points and improvements to our tenant online account area where people can make payments, report repairs and manage their tenancy. The app makes it easier for tenants to manage their accounts, report repairs and issues and stay on top of their rent payments. So far more than 1500 tenants have download the app since it was launched in January.
- How long have you worked/been based in Wakefield?
WDH as a company was formed in 2005, just over 12 years ago, and has a turnover of over £153 million. To date we have invested over £1 billion in the district of Wakefield.
- Why Wakefield?
We were founded in Wakefield and were established to serve the people of the district. As we grow and our operations expand beyond the district, we will always maintain our commitment to supporting Wakefield.
- Why have you become a Bondholder?
As an organisation committed to developing Wakefield, it is paramount that we have good links and an understanding of local business. We need to ensure that we are well placed to support our tenants and links to other organisations, such as Bondholder members, enables us to do this. We are able to provide links to other businesses and their services.
It has also provided us with the opportunity to meet like minded organisations to do business with and who also want to see Wakefield succeed.
- What’s next for Wakefield?
We have ambitious plans for the future. We plan to invest in more homes and build 600 new homes a year by 2020. We will continue to provide housing and employment to the Wakefield district and expand our existing digital offer, to provide our customers with accessible services and improve our operational performance.
- Do you know an interesting fact about the district?
One of our estates has a road named after a local Victorian novelist; George Gissing!
Picture: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com