One Housing reports £25m+ loss

London's One Housing Group has reported a £25.5m pre-tax deficit for the year to March after being hit by a series of exceptional costs.
Richard Hill, chief executive of One Housing and the G15's new vice chair.

London’s One Housing Group has reported a £25.5m pre-tax deficit for the year to March after being hit by a series of exceptional costs including fire safety works.

The G15 housing association, which owns and manages just under 20,000 homes, said its results were affected by the £17.2m cost of fire safety works, plus a £13m hit from the revaluation of a development site where planning permission was refused. The £25.5m loss compares to an £8.6m loss in 2020.

Writing in the annual report, chief executive Richard Hill described the 2020-21 financial year as a “year like no other”, and said the business expected to spend around £200m on cladding replacement over the next five years. The organisation produced a revised budget for the business in July last year after Covid hit, in the knowledge that it would lead the organisation to record a deficit for the year, and said that the results were in line with these revised numbers.

Paul Gray, chief financial officer, added: “We knew the 2020/21 financial year would be challenging, and planned accordingly – though we’ve made losses we’ve kept to our budget, and remain financially robust, with assets of over £2bn, the confidence of our lenders and reserves of over £300 million.

“Housing Associations around the UK, particularly those involved in the delivery of care and support for the most vulnerable, have been counting the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re proud of our record in delivering high quality care services last year and the choices we made to prioritise the safety of our customers and staff despite the short term expense. We would make the same choices again. Our continuing investment in essential projects, including £27.3m on fire safety works last year, alongside the sustained development of major regeneration and new build sites, is on track. We are also investing in projects our customers’ value, including improving the customer service experience. As London and the UK recovers from Covid-19, we anticipate future growth and the further development of our partnership proposals with the Riverside Group ”

 

The £13m property impairment related to its Victoria Quarter development, purchased in a joint venture with housebuilder Fairview. The 652-home scheme on a former gasworks in New Barnet was refused by Barnet Council in 2020, forcing One Housing to re-plan the site.

One said it now had a “robust strategy to achieve planning consent”, but that a new scheme now being developed would deliver fewer homes for increased build costs, resulting in a lower value to the scheme.

Caroline Corby, the organisation’s chair said One Housing was now taking a “lower risk approach to development and refocussing upon our core social purpose.” She said: “Despite the challenges, we remain a financially stable and robust organisation.”

 

Image: One Housing CEO Richard Hill, courtesy One Housing.

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