John Johnston, Bernicia chief executive of Bernicia.
Matthew Neville

North East housing association to invest £210m to support local communities

North East housing association Bernicia has announced it will invest £210m into homes, estates and communities over the next four years as part of its plans to support local tenants and communities.

The investment will focus on building at least 600 new homes across the region, delivering major works to improve existing homes and neighbourhoods, and helping people into work.

Tenants’ views have helped shape Bernicia’s new corporate strategy which outlines how it will deliver “exceptional services, sharply focused on customers’ needs at a time of major financial pressures on households”.

The housing association owns and manages 14,000 properties, employs over 550 staff across the North East and has an annual turnover of £90m.

Bernicia is also set to commit additional resources to help tackle fuel poverty as households face a cost of living crisis. It aims to install more efficient heating systems into homes, fit extra insulation, photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps.

John Johnston, Bernicia chief executive, said: “Over the next four years, we will put our human and financial resources to work, using our skills to release more capacity to support our tenants, customers and communities at a time when arguably they need it most.

“The North East is where our tenants and communities live, where our financial strength has been generated, and where the company has always been based, and we want to use our strength to help it grow.

“We are pledging significant extra resources to support financial inclusion, building aspiration and increasing confidence, providing the training, skills and job opportunities people deserve. We are more than just a landlord.

“We are an anchor institution for communities and we will continue to work with partners to help deliver ambitious plans for the North East.”

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