This Annual Report runs from April 2021 to March 2022 and covers the time we all started to come through the restrictions and hardship that the pandemic brought.
The Coronavirus pandemic affected our lives and those of our residents and the communities we serve in unimaginable ways, we now face a cost-of-living crisis which brings new challenges for us in helping staff and residents to access the relevant services.
While we all take on new challenges, we have been pleased to be able to meet our residents face to face again. Making a difference to people is why we come to work, this report shows some of the ways that our teams have changed people’s lives for the better.
The help and advice this team gives our residents has always been invaluable and as we come into a cost-of-living crisis, their work becomes even more crucial.
The team specialises in money, employment, energy, and digital advice. They help people manage their rent payments, sustain their tenancies through getting people back into work, offer support with welfare claims and advice to save money on their bills.
Their work underpins our existence; creating opportunities for people and communities to thrive. Here’s what they’ve achieved this past year:
Melin Advice put £1.38 million of benefit help in residents’ pockets.
This year the big money furlough claims were behind us, but the team still managed to get residents the financial help they required to keep on top of the bills.
They sent out £24,838 in vouchers
The team secured energy vouchers worth £24,838 to help tenants pay fuel bills.
£1.6% rent debt
Our Income Recovery Team has helped people keep on track with their bills and substantially reduced the number of Notices of Seeking Possession served; rent debt is just 1.5% of the rent roll.
Helped 57 people into employment
18 residents trained up and helped pay for 18 people to complete qualifications and training.
Two new drivers
The team helped to fund driving tests for two people making access to work easier.
682 households helped
The team have given out over £16k in Tesco vouchers to 682 households, helping residents who are in crisis.
31 people helped to get online
The team has helped 31 people with using technology to claim benefits, get in touch with loved ones, boost their careers and given out 22 tablets.
Thanks to your help I now regularly work overtime, I’ve paid off my arrears and have money left in my pocket for extras!
The small yet mighty Communities Team didn’t let a pandemic stop them reaching out and supporting our residents.
The friendly, caring staff just thought of new ways to help residents stay connected and feel supported. More recently they have leapt at the chance to get out and about providing engagement opportunities on many of our streets.
They assisted 23 gardening projects
The team has helped residents to make their communal areas blooming marvellous. They’ve delivered seeds, pots, plants, planters and even gazebos to make sure people can make the most of their outdoor spaces.
They set up 12 musical extravaganzas
12 Independent Living schemes benefited from finally getting together indoors and outdoors for fun activity afternoons with performances by Pashy Pops and Katie Vallis that got everyone’s toes tapping.
19+ years of sporting partnerships
This year marks our 10th year in partnership with Dragons Rugby Community and nine years officially partnering with County in the Community, although we have worked with the football club for closer to 15 years.
The all new Melin bus went on 52 road trips
The Melin bus was booked on 52 occasions, as our partners and staff teams were keen to get out and support residents as soon as restrictions lifted.
Jump2 funded 16 community projects
Our community pot awarded over £3,230 to schools, football clubs, bowls clubs and lunch clubs and more!
Communities Team donated £3,000
The money went to a range of initiatives from litter bins for a playground, to a kids’ cancer charity, to materials for Pill Community Allotments to name but a few.
53 people brought Santa to our streets
51 staff members, one board member and one resident accompanied Santa on his joy-spreading tour of eight sheltered schemes and 16 of our estates to meet our residents and their families.
Thank you for organising this get together we have all really enjoyed it: seeing everyone smiling and laughing makes it all worthwhile.
Our award-winning volunteer group Melin Voices represents the views of our residents to our staff and Senior Management team. They shape the services we provide.
All our residents – more than 3,500 people – are Voices
Our Voices share their opinions, they are part of the conversation. By taking part in surveys, joining one of the focus groups or just by emailing in or picking up the phone, they help us to make our services the best they can be.
Our Communities Group is made up of residents and our Communities Team; the group has a budget and has made a difference to our residents through funding…
They delivered £18,000 worth of Tesco vouchers
The group made this money available to our Income & Inclusion team so that they could support our most vulnerable residents in times of crisis.
They spent £4,062 on dementia friendly projects
This money has supported craft projects, gardening and funded garden furniture for our schemes.
They invested £1,628 communal areas
This money has brightened up communal areas in properties for the over 55s, funding gardening and landscaping projects.
They funded £1,200 worth of digital devices
The tablets were donated to Torfaen Young Carers so that they were able to access schoolwork and stay in touch with friends and family during the pandemic.
Community events galore
The group attended community events such as Party in the Park, scheme activities, and are sponsoring the Torfaen Volunteer awards. Group members sat in on staff interviews, contractor interviews, staff group meetings such as our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion group and are regularly updated on policies, service changes and government legislation affecting residents.
Residents in our Customer Service Group carried out service reviews on refuse and recycling, and parking recommendations which were put into an action plan which we are working on.
Our Neighbourhood Housing team has been busier than ever getting people into their new homes.
Despite still feeling the effects of the pandemic they re-let an amazing 154 properties.
Six private rent re-let
The team has re-let six privately rented homes.
64 new homes signed up
The team took handover of 64 properties from our development team and helped people move into them.
28 mutual exchanges
28 households have been helped to swap homes with other housing association tenants.
My neighbourhood officer was brilliant and made sure everything went smoothly when I moved into my new home.
Customer Contact Team
Staff on our busy Customer Contact Team (CCT) are the voices at the end of the phone, email, Facebook or WhatsApp message.
Our friendly customer-focused team have a wealth of knowledge and their purpose is to provide customers with efficient and effective support combined with excellent customer service.
They deal with our residents across multiple channels; via telephone, text, Facebook, Twitter, email (enquiries and repairs) and most recently WhatsApp. CCT can deal with over 2,000 interactions each week across all channels. This year the team has answered…
63,696 phone calls
The most popular method of contact, the team has had 63,696 phone calls with our residents.
While it is a digital method of contact there is always a human at the end of the Melin line, and the team has answered over 38,100 emails.
333 Facebook messages
Facebook is a popular way for residents to get in touch, with 333 Facebook messages to our business page.
82 Twitter messages
And they have also dealt with 82 Twitter messages.
441 live web chats
Residents can access our live chat function while on our website. The team have had 441 conversations.
2,271 text messages
Their fingers have been kept busy tapping out the answers to 2,271 text messages.
113 WhatsApp messages
They have also received 113 WhatsApp messages.
The staff who answer the phone calls are always very friendly, always very helpful.
This is our green team, making sure we are a sustainable business; doing our bit for the environment, making sure we buy better and invest money back into our communities.
To keep up to date on what else our Sustainability team does for Melin, check out the page on our site titled Sustainability and doing our bit.
£2.1 million in contracts
The team has procured in excess of £2.1m worth of contracts saving us over £56,636 on estimated costs.
Estimated saving of £5,000 on legal fees.
£22,072 in community benefits
Through our community benefit clause, we now have over £22,072 in our sustainable communities’ fund, helping support our education programme FACE, and allowing us to support projects across our Local Authorities.
30 homes more energy efficient
We have installed energy efficiency measures such as solar PV and EWI in 30 homes.
80 homes surveyed
We have surveyed 80 homes to see how we can improve their energy efficiency.
22 IES systems fitted
We have fitted 22 Intelligent Energy Systems in homes to assess how people use power and how we can help to make it more efficient.
It is fantastic that Melin is so forward-thinking and willing to act to mitigate the effects of climate change, while also aiming to make fuel bills more affordable.
The Schools team
In a time where education has faced some upheaval, our schools initiative has helped.
Our education project inspires and motivates school children who may one day be our future employees, residents, councillors, ministers, fellow housing providers and more. They are our future.
We can only run this project with the support from local businesses and contractors who make everything we achieve possible. Our dynamic FACE project has…
They have engaged with 1,605 students of various ages at primary and secondary school level.
Helped 148 teachers by delivering projects suitable for the curriculum and covering various subjects such as careers and housing.
They’ve worked with 14 schools, both in person and remotely.
96 staff hours
Melin staff have helped the project by donating 96 hours of their time.
Three Design Dens
The team ran three Design Dens to create characters for our energy efficiency program.
Thank you to Georgie for coming to see Year 6. They’ve loved their housing project.
The Maintenance team
Our busy, dedicated and friendly maintenance team are always out and about, even during holidays, weekends and out of hours.
Our little green fleet of vans carrying electricians, multi-skilled operatives, plumbing and gas engineers are often seen around our communities and the staff members provide excellent services to our residents.
In difficult times the team continues to do their best for our residents and have made a positive difference to many people’s lives.
3,696 gas services
They completed 3,696 gas services and 88.37% of residents were satisfied with their planned gas servicing
3,520 emergency repairs
and 10,327 routine repairs, with 80.23% of our residents said they were satisfied with how their repair was dealt with.
The average repair completion time was 22.08 days against our target of 20.
93% emergency repairs
Our own maintenance team made good 93% of all emergency jobs they attended within 24 hours.
The lad who came was polite, courteous and efficient at his job.
Development and Homebuy
Work might have had to have stopped on site for a short while during this year, but that didn’t stop us investing £22 million.
Our Development team gets the houses built and the Homebuy team work towards getting people into those houses. Here’s what was achieved between them…
111 new homes handed over
They handed over 111 new homes for our residents
16 development schemes
Our different development schemes on site were spread across five different counties.
13 construction companies
The team worked with 13 different companies
210 more new homes in progress
They have 210 new homes in progress
£19,445 in community funding
plus, they secured £19,445 in community funding for our Sustainability team
58 Homebuy transactions
Last year, the team secured 58 Homebuy transactions and supported four new home sales for partner organisations.
All this with an overall, total market value of over £10.5 million.
This is the start of a whole new future for me and my child.
Vital to our most vulnerable residents, the team dealing with tenancy sustainability. This team provided help and support to residents who are vulnerable, working with external and internal partners to help people sustain their tenancies.
373 residents helped
373 residents benefited from the team’s help – this could be helping with white goods, grants, benefits, signposting to external agencies and/or counselling.
The £11,000 budget has helped residents sustain tenancies and access Discretionary Assistance Funds to purchase white goods.
1,013 phone calls
The team has made 1,013 calls to people with new tenancies at three, six and nine months to make sure there are no issues.
The team has also made 112 referrals to external agencies who are able to provide specialist ongoing support for our residents who need it.
Very stressful time to be honest, and I've always been surprised and grateful by Melin more than any other institution. Thanks for the culture you clearly have in Melin.
The community safety team has been busy working with customers to make sure they feel supported to take positive actions to address antisocial behaviour (ASB) and improve the overall quality of life for all residents. The team has...
Resolved 154 ASB cases
Despite the constraints of the pandemic, and complex social issues that have arisen coming out of lockdown, the team has resolved 154 cases.
Obtained nine civil injunctions
Injunctions are used to protect and support victims of ASB. They can help to improve the situation for an individual as well as having a positive impact on the wider community.
Referred 10 cases for mediation or conflict support
Plus they’ve referred eight victims of ASB, crime or domestic abuse to our counselling service.
Attended 120 partnership meetings
The team can’t tackle ASB alone, developing good relationships with partner agencies is crucial to finding the best solutions and resolving ASB.
Independent Living is a team dedicated to providing homes and services to older and sometimes more vulnerable residents. The team has worked hard to stay in touch with residents through the lockdowns and more recently has enjoyed visiting face to face.
143 properties let
Our team has found tenants for 143 homes designed for people over 55 years old.
22 homes let in new Blaenau Gwent scheme
The team let 22 homes on a new development in Blaenau Gwent to residents aged 55 and over. The new community also includes supported housing and accessible homes for residents with mobility difficulties.
Eight care and support providers
They have partnered with eight care and support providers, who work with our residents at supported housing schemes.
Teams in five local authorities
They worked in partnership with Social Care teams in five local authority areas to allocate homes in our extra care schemes and supported housing projects.
The Compliance team
Keeping residents safe, this team does a fantastic job keeping our residents safe and ensuring that Melin follow all legal and regulatory requirements. At the end of March 2022 here is what the team had achieved.
100% gas safety
The team has completed 100% gas safety.
The team has made sure that 100% of our properties have a valid legionella safety assessment.
99.8% of our homes are compliant with electrical tests and standards.
2,841 stock condition surveys
Our surveyors have been assessing our homes this year to collect up to date information on each property’s main components in order that they can be renewed in a timely manner when necessary.
152 Physical Adaption Grants and minor adaptations
Physical Adaptations Grants (PAGs) include things like lifts, access aids, bathroom adaptations, kitchen adaptations and any other adaptations within a resident’s home.
Care & Repair
Making lives easier is Care & Repair, they deliver services which improve homes, change lives and improve the health and wellbeing of the older people they help.
3,475 older people
The team has helped 3,475 people in Monmouthshire and Torfaen to live independently in their own warm, safe and accessible homes.
They have made homes safer by carrying out 4,194 adaptations and repairs.
The team has carried out 484 jobs in people’s homes to facilitate hospital discharge, taking the pressure off the wards.
The team has helped older people access £206,509 of previously unclaimed benefits.
The team has also raised £37,613 in benevolent funding/grants for essential repairs and home improvements.
Everyone has been so supportive and understanding.
Good governance is a core and uncompromised principle at Melin Homes and a foundation of any well-run and high performing organisation. The board undertakes an annual appraisal review of its skills and performance, this ensures we recruit new members on skills needed.
The Board has adopted the Community Housing Cymru code of governance and monitors Regulatory Performance standards compliance.
We are fully compliant with our Whistle Blowing Policy and Procedure and have had no whistle blowing allegations or investigations this year.
The Board is committed to the management of risk to achieve the vision and goals of the Group, and to remain a viable and sustainable business.
The Board is clear on the key risks that the Association faces and is provided with suitable assurance that these risks have been properly mitigated. The Board have set their risk appetite, and this is reviewed on an annual basis.
Melin has a total of 58 risks listed in their Board Assurance Framework
25 of these are strategic risks
33 of these are operational risks
In the past year in Governance has had…
Three new board members
We co-opted three new board members. The Board is made up of 15 people, two exec directors, 10 non-exec members including one resident as well as the three co-opted members.
Diversity on the board has also increased by 13%.
12 internal reviews
TIAA is the company employed to carry out the internal audits on aspects of our services. 55.6% were given the highest award of Substantial Assurance.
Regulatory Judgement returned a Green Green score which is the best that can be achieved.
The Melin family tree
Melin Homes is the group parent and is a Co-operative and Community Benefit Society that operates to Charitable Rules. Melin provides and manages affordable housing across five local authority areas.
Melin Homes is the sole trustee of the Henry Burton Almshouse Society and is the managing agent for the Queen Victoria and Albert Almshouse Society.
Candleston Limited is a subsidiary of Melin Homes, created to deliver high quality sustainable homes of all tenure, including for outright sale. Profit is reinvested back into communities and to help Melin achieve its charitable objectives.
This past year for Candleston
The team is now working on their second major development. Following the success of their first project is Coed Glas in Abergavenny, Grove Farm in Llanfoist is a fantastic new development of 106 homes, ranging from two to five bedroom properties.
Y Prentis is an independent company, jointly owned by Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council. Y Prentis runs the south-east Wales shared apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Construction Skills and its industry members.
This past year for Y Prentis
The team has increased their apprenticeships by 30% since August 2020 thanks to CITB, Cardiff Capital Region and Welsh Government funding and have an impressive 55 apprentices on the books, they have also welcomed 20 new host contractors.
We work together to create
- Operational excellence focused on residents
Without our residents we don’t exist, so we put them at the heart of everything we do. We listen to what they say and help them make the most out of Melin.
- A great culture
Our people are proud to say they work for Melin. We look after our staff so that they can provide the best services possible for our customers.
- Thriving communities
We create and support projects and activities which will make a positive difference to people’s lives.
- Income from core enabling opportunities
Whilst we are a not-for-profit organisation, if we do make a profit, we invest this back into the services we provide for our residents.
- Do the right thing
It’s about more than just turning up for work, we all strive to do the best we can for our residents and partners. We provide more than a home, we are here to support residents when they need us. We all play our part in making Melin a great place to live and work.
- Find a way
The answer to people’s queries isn’t always obvious, but our staff are a dedicated bunch who aren’t afraid to find creative solutions.
- Make things happen
A great idea comes to nothing if people don’t act on it. Our staff have a drive to turn positive thoughts into positive action.
- Make a difference
That is why we are here! We want the impact of what we do day in day out to change things for the better for our colleagues, residents and organisations we work with
- Enjoy the journey
We are content with our work knowing we share a goal and have the support we need to achieve it.
The Melin Board and Senior Management
We have two dedicated groups of people that make up our Board and Senior Management teams and there’s no doubt the members of our Board and those at leadership positions of Melin make decisions which have a long-lasting positive impact for future generations.
Summary Income & Expenditure Account
Actuarial gain on pension
Surplus for the year
Current assets (cash & debtors)
Monies received from Welsh Gov
Monies owed by the association