As Lorraine Mealings reflects on her first few months at BCHA she sets a vision for the future of the organisation
As Lorraine Mealings reflects on her first few months at BCHA she sets a vision for the future of the organisation

I’m four months into my role as CEO of BCHA and it has been a whirlwind of getting to know our amazing colleagues and customers at BCHA.  We deliver some incredible services which help enable positive outcomes for so many of our customers, and it really has been a pleasure to see the extreme commitment and hard work our teams provide.

Our Board have now signed off our budget for the coming year which has focussed on our spending priorities.  The budget is challenging for Housing Associations, arguably especially for smaller ones like us where we don’t get the same economies of scale.  We need to strike the right balance between delivering our social purpose and added value whilst staying financially viable, so we need to recognise the challenges our tenants face paying their rent whilst needing to collect rent to cover the costs we incur as a landlord.  

Our Board have also signed off our Business Plan priorities for the coming year which is a really ambitious and exciting agenda.   We will be focusing on raising service standards, structure and consistency across teams.  We will have a real focus on embedding customer engagement and our approach to managing complaints.  This coming year, we will have a sustained focus on our repairs and asset service.  We need to make sure we have good data on all of our properties and that they are all up to the right standard; we will be reviewing some of our properties which may no longer be fit for purpose for a range of reasons.  We are scaling up our resources to buy and build additional affordable and supported housing for more customers over and above the 1,200 customers we already have.  And alongside all of this, we will be modernising the way we work by improving our digital services and streamlining operations. 

Over the next 12 months, we will also be developing a new BCHA 5 year Business Plan for the next stage of our journey.  We are currently shaping a consultation plan and will be inviting everyone to add their perspective to help shape our new medium term vision.  Exciting times ahead and I am lucky to work with such a professional, passionate and able team  to deliver all of that. 

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