Double win for Eastlight at Essex Housing Awards

Eastlight staff holding their award at the Essex Housing Awards

A drive to ensure Eastlight Community Homes residents received the repairs they wanted after the coronavirus lockdowns has been recognised with an award.

Eastlight's ‘Repairs Recovery Plan’ won the 'Supporting Covid-19 Recovery award' at last week's Essex Housing Awards.

The housing association also picked up the ‘Excellence in Development – Small category’ award for its 17-home Longacre development in Cressing and was shortlisted for ‘Meeting Housing Need’ for its 35-home Manor Street scheme in Braintree.

The annual awards ceremony, held on 3 November, showcases housing providers and supporters in Essex, ranging from CHESS Homeless Centre to Essex County Council.

The Repairs Recovery Plan was launched in November 2021. It involved tradespeople and back-office support staff being redistributed and working together to reduce the backlog caused by Eastlight adopting an “emergency only” repairs response during Lockdown One, to help to keep staff and customers safe. As a result, the backlog disappeared, but the same high customer satisfaction levels remained.

Longacre is a new development of high-quality affordable homes built on land that was previously the site of dilapidated, disused garages and post-war prefabricated housing. The 17-home site includes homes for social rent and seven for shared ownership.

The site has been previously recognised for the “extraordinary level of community engagement, along with the thought and consideration given to the needs of the estate’s previous residents,” with a resident’s mother saying: “You have transformed their lives – I weep every time I think of it. It’s amazing."

Emma Palmer, Eastlight’s Chief Executive, said: “Two of Eastlight’s main priorities are to deliver the best possible services to our residents and to build homes for those who need them most. It’s my honour and privilege to see our staff being recognised in this way, I am very proud and pleased; thank you.”

Eastlight’s development in Manor Street will have another winning chance at the upcoming UK Housing Awards, where Eastlight is shortlisted in the “Best Neighbourhood Transformation Award” category.