What is the challenge?
There is a national housing crisis, caused by insufficient housing to meet the demand, some of the key factors are:
- Increase in house prices (2.5% in 2020)
- A reduction in house building in both market and affordable housing (a reduction of 35% in the last 12 months by the 7 top largest housebuilders)
- National Housing Federation state that 8.4 M people live in unaffordable, insecure, or unsuitable homes
This has resulted in housing affordability for first time buyers, increasing demands on private rent and social housing, rising homelessness, and those who are more vulnerable in society being exposed to even greater housing uncertainty.
The decline in house building in the UK, currently at levels not seen since just after the First World War, with 38% of houses in the UK built before 1946 and only 7% after 2000, makes the UK housing stock the oldest in the EU. This has created increased pressure to have the right level of housing stock available to a decent home standard and at an affordable price.
The Elderly Accommodation Council (EAC) has shared as a result of the growing aging population by 2035 520,000 housing with accommodation units will be required. Mears was called on by Government and local authorities to be part of the solution to build 4000,000 extra care homes over the next 10 years.
What we did?
Mears’s mission is to be regarded as the UK most trusted service provider to the affordable housing market. Responsibly providing innovative housing solutions to the clients and customers we serve. Our culture centres on working together and creating a positive impact in the communities we serve.
Mears provide and manage 17,000 homes for local and central Government and are also responsible for keeping 750,000 social housing homes in the UK in good repair.
The Mears culture centres on working together and creating a positive impact in the communities we serve. Our clients can range from being a trusted provider for the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office, providing quality homes and the support services that people need to settle into their communities. The Covid-19 Pandemic has put a lot of pressure and challenges within the business sector, Mears has demonstrated how agile and responsible it is to be able to continue to deliver and keep within our ethos.
A community is made up of many demographics and it is important to Mears to be agile to add value in the areas they serve. Mears has a multiplicity, flexible approach:
- Provide repairs and maintenance to ensure that our clients’ housing stock meets our high standards
- Housing Management to the private rented sector; responsible for all aspects of housing management services, offering long term below market average rents
- Largest provider of emergency and temporary accommodation in the UK, we work innovatively with local authorities to support their housing need:
- Homeless housing schemes including families
- Improved disused or void office/housing stock to become affordable homes
- Provide temporary accommodation for asylum seekers whilst they wait for their claim for asylum to be assessed
- Mears Housing with Care has ten years’ experience and is currently providing 40 housing with care developments across the country. We partner with Cornwall’s local authority for 10 bespoke schemes, to build, manage and deliver care across the county. Mears also builds supported living for those with disabilities to live more independently
- We are a trusted provider of housing to various central government departments, including the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office. We provide affordable housing to ex-service personnel, key workers, and people seeking asylum in the UK.
What were the outcomes?
Mears continues to deliver and be recognised as a socially responsible company. It has an engaged workforce of 6,200 employees who through the recent pandemic continued to deliver across all its service offerings in a safe and responsible way, ensuring we supported vulnerable people to feel safe and cared for.
Mears is proud to have been part of the team who wrote the green and white paper for social housing, and feel it is our duty to challenge and input solutions.
We carry out 6,000 repairs a day and manage 17,000 homes to ensure people live in decent, affordable homes.
We provide temporary accommodation for citizens from 129 countries, which brings challenges around languages and culture while their claim is being assessed.
Mears is proud of how it has improved service delivery and pay conditions in the care sector which remains severely underfunded. We manage the build, maintenance, and provision of housing with care and specially adapted living for those with disabilities to help them live as independently as they can. This reduces the cost on local authorities, NHS, reduces incidents of falls, reduces loneliness, and improves wellbeing.