Read about our summer reception at the Houses of Parliament, in collaboration with Winmark.
On the 18th July 2019, we hosted a summer reception, at the Houses of Parliament, in partnership with the Winmark Executive Network.
It presented an excellent opportunity to network and share stories with a select group of senior housing executives over a glass of bubbly.
Our special guest for the evening was none other than Sarah Jones - Shadow Housing Minister.
Here’s how it all went down.
Cem Savas’ Introduction
Our founder, Cem Savas, inaugurated the evening’s talks with a speech about the most pressing issues in the housing sector. He focused on streamlining essential housing operations to serve with transparency, deliver better customer service and ensure safer, more affordable homes for everyone.
In describing his vision for the future of housing, Cem highlighted the role Winmark plays in gathering leaders, opinion-formers and decision-makers to make this change possible. He continued, “no one understands the challenges, pressures and opportunities better than them”.
He explained that together, we can use our passion for better homes to cultivate local communities that thrive and create social value at each step.
Then, it was over to Sarah Jones. Cem introduced her as Croydon's first ever woman MP - and a lifelong resident there. He stated how supporting local communities sits at the heart of everything she does.
She was the former Head of Campaigns at the housing charity Shelter, was part of the team delivering the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has even given up her bed to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness on our streets.
Today, she’s a passionate advocate for Labour’s Green Paper, ‘Housing for the Many’, which promises to usher in a brighter, more affordable housing future.
Sarah Jones' Speech
“We are in the midst of a housing crisis,'' she began, not mincing words. She stated how rough sleeping has doubled, mentioned the lack of housing stock, and revealed that nearly a million people under the age of 45 can’t afford a home today. Setting the stage, she let her optimism shine through all of that.
“We are seeing homes being retrofit for the future”, she stated. “Making them more efficient is going to be a challenge, but we are seeing great strides being made there”.
She highlighted a move to suspend ‘Right-to-Buy’, to prevent councils from selling their best homes and make sure that the most vulnerable are accommodated. A move to offer realistic affordable rents - not 80% of market value but a tiered system instead - that starts at ⅓ and has flexibility based on income groups.
She elaborated that younger people prefer a different housing model and we need to enable them to engage better with housing organisations. “How do we make our purpose and reputation more clear to everyone, as housing providers? How can we do the heavy lifting to make customer service more streamlined for a new generation?”
A lot of housing organisations struggle with the systems they keep. Like Plentitic, let’s make sure we’re using technology to improve customer service and find better ways to invest back into communities
At this point she emphasised that Plentific had already taken big positive strides in this direction. “A lot of housing organisations struggle with the systems they keep. It’s all very basic. Like Plentific, let’s make sure we’re using technology to improve customer service and find better ways to invest back into communities”.
After a brief Q&A session, Sarah handed over to Winmark Chief Executive John Jeffcock, to offer concluding thoughts on the evening.
John Jeffcock's Conclusion
After thanking Sarah for her words, John stated how pleased he was to see new structures and frameworks entering the housing sector.
He applauded Plentific for “staying a pioneer” in what we do and hoped that it would pave the way for necessary changes to come quicker.
He elaborated that revolutionising repairs and maintenance in housing is the first step to tackling major issues of tenant satisfaction, value for money concerns and ensuring that housing teams can be facilitated to do what they do best - make communities better for the residents that live in them.
Talk to Us
At Plentific, we’re showing housing providers that it really is possible to reduce costs, improve services and create happier tenants.
It’s why some of the most progressive housing providers in the UK - Notting Hill Genesis, MTVH included - work closely with us to make their housing operations more efficient each day.
If you’re interested to know more about what Plentific does and how you can transform your housing operations with us, book a meeting today.