site-wide search form

About us

2009 marked the start of a new era for us with a stock transfer to what was then known as Sedgefield Borough Homes (later renamed Livin). We are an independent, not-for-profit business set up to manage over 8,500 homes.

Today, we provide homes for over 11,000 people across Co. Durham, Livin is a business with a real social purpose. And we exist to give the people in our communities an opportunity to live in a quality home they can afford.

We go above and beyond the traditional duties of a landlord, working closely with our communities to improve employment and training opportunities as well as health and financial confidence and to help more people achieve their aspirations of becoming a homeowner.

Since 2009 we have built and acquired over 300 new affordable homes, invested over £80 million in improving our assets, and have generated over £16 million in social value in our local communities.

 

Our challenges

Plan A, is set in a period of relative economic uncertainty which has impacted on our business and has hit our customers hard. A rent cut removed £13 million from our Business Plan while public spending is set to reduce even further and locally we have seen many essential community services being reduced or cut all together.

The social challenge

The social challenge is diverse - there are pockets of deprivation in some areas, while others are thriving.

Our role in enabling the people living within those communities to prosper focuses on helping them to improve their financial circumstances, become less dependent on benefits and find sustainable employment. Social sustainability is increasingly becoming an issue and our role extends to enabling social cohesion. This we do through working in partnership to address health issues, tackle isolation, improve digital inclusion and enable older tenants and residents to continue to live independently in their own homes.

The economic and social challenges are magnified in our tenancies. Over 55% of tenants are over 60 years old and this customer base is set to grow, while 62% of tenants rely on welfare support and 45% have some form of mobility or disability problems. Without continued investment in the development and delivery of sustainable, impactful interventions in our local communities, we will see decline and increasing levels of economic and social inequality.

The housing challenge

Nationally, there is a housing crisis with a shortage of 250,000 homes each year - and there are more than 8 million additional people due to enter the housing market in the next 20 years. However, in our local communities it is a different story. Rising house prices, coupled with higher-than-average levels of unemployment in an area where average wages are 8% below the UK national average, is increasing the number of people needing housing before they can afford it, if they ever can.

Unless we address the undersupply of affordable home ownership in our local communities, based on current trends the
affordability gap of owning and renting will worsen. People living in our communities will have little choice when it comes to their homes. Without intervention there will be a strain on the local affordable housing market and without a significant increase in new affordable supply, overcrowding and homelessness will worsen.

Our mission

Our mission is simple: To provide great homes, sustain strong communities and build a successful business.

Our vision

Our priorities

Plan A focuses on us taking control of our own destiny, as we in turn do everything we can to encourage our customers and employees to take control of theirs.

The priority drivers for Plan A are to relentlessly:
—› Focus on customers
—› Grow the business
—› Drive innovation, efficiency and improve productivity
—› Embrace our social purpose.

Priorities Objective

Focus on customers



Grow the business

 

Driver innovation, efficiency and productivity

 

Embrace our social purpose 

Delivering an Excellent Customer Experience
Enabling Sustainable Tenure
Optimising Return on Assets
Building and Acquiring Homes
Improving Existing Homes
Sustaining Strong Communities

 

Our ethos – the way we do business

Our employees are at the very heart of our business - they are the people on the ground, they know our customers, they understand our communities and they are the driving force behind our success. Enabling our employees to flourish will enable our business and our communities to flourish too.

Our core values guide the expected behaviours of our employees, which in turn shapes the way we deliver services. We call this ‘The Livin Way’.

Our values

Our values represent the FOREVER-PLUS mantra:

Fairness, Openness, Respect, Enterprise, Value, Excellence, Reliability, Productive, Lean, Unified, Sustainable

These values are used all the time, guiding the decisions we make and they are something we simply will not compromise on.

To ‘enable employees to flourish’ to deliver Plan A we will focus initially on Excellence, Enterprise, Productive, Lean and Unified.

Delivering Excellence – through taking personal responsibility, owning challenges, continuously striving to achieve maximum potential and delivering high standards for our customers.

Being Enterprising – through having a relentless drive for innovation, trying new things, being future-ready and challenging the norms to grow the business and broaden income streams.

Driving Productivity – through stretching targets, being efficient and doing what matters (being Lean), adopting a ‘digital mindset’ harnessing technology and keeping up to date.

Being Unified – through working collaboratively with others to achieve more for our customers and challenging them to be the best they can be.

Our customers

Affordable housing tenants

An ageing tenant customer base

Our main customer base, housing tenants, is made up of more than half aged over 55 years, with 70% being 45 years and older. 5% of our tenants are over the age of 85 years.

We estimate that by 2035 two-thirds of our tenants will be over 65 years and 16% will be over 85 years.

Low income
We know that 75% of our tenants struggle with paying day-to-day bills and generally have a household income of £15,000 per year or less. This is compared to the national average of £27,680. In certain estates, the number of tenants with an average household income of £15,000 or less is as high as 90%. 62% of tenants currently receive some form of help to subsidise their rent due to low income.

Health
We know that over 70% of our tenants have a disability or long-term health condition. The main types of disability include mobility difficulties, some form of physical disability, mental health issues, hearing impairment and visual impairment.

Employment
35% of tenants aged 16 to 65 years are unemployed. Of these, 44% of young unemployed tenants have a long-term sickness or disability, and the remainder are actively seeking work. 82% of the 25 to 65-year age group are not seeking work due to a long-term sickness or disability. The remaining 18% are job seekers.

Service access preferences
48% of customer-to-business transactions with Livin are via digital means representative of a small group of customers who repeatedly use this method of accessing our services. Approximately 67% of tenants have access to the internet and 61% have a mobile phone.

Meet our tenants

Click on the name of the persona below to read more

Meet our tenants

Ernie

Golden tenant

Tenant(s) for a long time

Single or couple

Aged 60+

Male or female

Prefers communication face to face, telephone or letter

Likely to pay rent on time

Low income - fuel poverty

Potentially socially isolated

Risk of dementia/disability

Will require care and support as they get older

 

Others

Do not fit within any of livin's main persona types

David & Victoria

Young couple

No children

Aged 16-29

Renting and saving to get on property ladder

In low income employment

No/little debt

Potential for Rent to Buy or shared ownership in the future

Preferred contact digital

The Harrison Family

Family with children

Married or single

All age groups

Limited income - mounting debts

In and out of work

Off and on benefits causing rent arrears

Fans of technology - smart phone

Potentially carers for elderly parents

Sheila

Settled resident

Aged 35-59

Likely to be single and no children

Low income

Rent arrears from time to time

Probably long term health condition/disability

At risk of declining mental health

Preferred communication - mobile phone

The Cooper Family

Family

Family with children, married/couple or single

Aged 16-29

Fans of technology - smartphones

In and out of work

Off and online benefits causing rent arrears

Potentially receives support from parents who are also on a low income 

Pauline & Brian

Couple

No dependent children

Aged 30-59

Claiming benefits or on low income

Declining health

Preferred contact telephone/digital

Gives support to parents or grown up children

May look to downsize

Chelsea

Single

No children

Aged 16-29

Accesses services via a smartphone

Low wage job

Has high interest debt

Family support

At risk of terminating tenancy within first 12 months

Ernie

Golden tenant

Tenant(s) for a long time

Single or couple

Aged 60+

Male or female

Prefers communication face to face, telephone or letter

Likely to pay rent on time

Low income - fuel poverty

Potentially socially isolated

Risk of dementia/disability

Will require care and support as they get older

 

Others

Do not fit within any of livin's main persona types

David & Victoria

Young couple

No children

Aged 16-29

Renting and saving to get on property ladder

In low income employment

No/little debt

Potential for Rent to Buy or shared ownership in the future

Preferred contact digital

The Harrison Family

Family with children

Married or single

All age groups

Limited income - mounting debts

In and out of work

Off and on benefits causing rent arrears

Fans of technology - smart phone

Potentially carers for elderly parents

Sheila

Settled resident

Aged 35-59

Likely to be single and no children

Low income

Rent arrears from time to time

Probably long term health condition/disability

At risk of declining mental health

Preferred communication - mobile phone

The Cooper Family

Family

Family with children, married/couple or single

Aged 16-29

Fans of technology - smartphones

In and out of work

Off and online benefits causing rent arrears

Potentially receives support from parents who are also on a low income 

Pauline & Brian

Couple

No dependent children

Aged 30-59

Claiming benefits or on low income

Declining health

Preferred contact telephone/digital

Gives support to parents or grown up children

May look to downsize

Chelsea

Single

No children

Aged 16-29

Accesses services via a smartphone

Low wage job

Has high interest debt

Family support

At risk of terminating tenancy within first 12 months

Jump to another section

35.jpg Introduction to Plan A
19.jpg Delivering an excellent customer experience
23.jpg Enabling sustainable tenure
26.jpg Optimising return on assets
M0084668 Plan A 380x200 Wheelbarrow.jpg Building and acquiring homes
M0084668 Plan A 380x200 Chair.jpg Improving existing homes
M0084668 Plan A 380x200 Waterring Can.jpg Sustaining strong communities

Newsletter Signup