Brighton Housing Trust Annual General Meeting

From Andy Winter, BHT

This week Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) held its Annual General Meeting. We reported to our members that we returned a surplus of £59,704 for the year ending 31st March 2014, up from £18,346 in the previous year.

The Chair of the BHT Board, Joan Mortimer, in her annual report, said: “This has been a challenging year for BHT, ironing out some of the problems of the preceding year. It has been a period both of consolidation and innovation. We have a new management structure in place with a new senior management team. These teams have achieved a number of significant successes.

“Last year almost 10,000 people made use of BHT’s services and nearly 7,000 households were either helped into accommodation or helped to remain in accommodation. Without the dedication and hard work of everyone in BHT, it is impossible to imagine what might have happened to these people.”

(For more details of the numbers of people we worked with in the last year, and the outcome of our services, click here for the whole of BHT and here for the work carried out at First Base Day Centre).

Joan recognised the achievement of securing from the Big Lottery Fund the Fulfilling Lives contract worth £9.2 million over 8 years. This contract, dealing with men and women with complex needs (a combination of homelessness, addictions, mental health problems and offending histories), was secured on behalf of a partnership of 62 agencies in three localities; Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, worth £350k each year in each locality.

She reported that BHT had also secured contracts for a new residential service for people with complex and high support needs, Shore House, and two parts of the Brighton Wellbeing service which was secured partly due to the reputation of BHT’s other mental health services.

Joan Mortimer reported to members that the Finance Department had been streamlined with new improved processes and simplified reporting to the Board, with improved cash monitoring and an overdraft facility in place.
Joan Mortimer said: “Finally, we have also seen the creation of Richardson’s Yard, shipping containers transformed into 36 new homes. On the back of this major project, BHT’s chief executive, Andy Winter, has been named as Inspirational Leader of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Inside Housing magazine.

“Of course, despite these successes, BHT still faces tough challenges in this difficult climate of cuts to funding and services.

Joan Mortimer also thanked two retiring board members, Roger Brocklehurst and Rebecca Sycamore, for their service to BHT.