Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association has been ranked in position 24 of the latest shortlist of Top 50 UK Social Landlords.

The full top 50 list, compiled by 24housing magazine, recognises social landlords throughout the UK who are delivering significant change within the organisation or the communities they serve. The final list was selected by an expert panel of judges.

BCT has jumped five places since last year’s listing and was recognised for its commitment to resident involvement and engagement, innovation and delivering value for money. This also places BCT as the second highest North East organisation behind Stockton-based North Star Housing who are ranked second in the overall list.

BCT owns and manages 1,800 homes on the iconic Grade II* listed Byker Wall Estate and was established in 2012. Since then, the organisation has invested £33m into the Estate and committed a further £14m of improvements until 2025.

The judges commended BCT’s pioneering ‘Byker Approach’ – a bottom-up housing management model developed to engage and involve residents in decision making. BCT has implemented a robust tenant engagement framework encompassing proven ways of listening to residents’ concerns and including them in meaningful service delivery. During 2018, over 1,000 tenant voluntary hours were committed.

Tenancies are being sustained longer by supporting tenants and signposting them to additional services and income collection rates are at an all-time high of 99.9% despite the challenges faced with the introduction of Universal Credit.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said: “This is a fantastic result for our residents, staff, partners and Board. For an organisation the size of ours, which was only established in 2012, to feature in this list amongst some of the biggest registered social landlords (RSL’s) in the UK is a great achievement.

“There are over 1,700 RSL’s throughout the UK so to be ranked in the top 50 is recognition of the hard work that we are delivering for our residents. Organisers at 24housing said this year’s judging criteria would be even tougher to ‘make the list more robust and a fairer reflection of the housing sector.’

“Partnership working is one of the keys to our success. Our cost sharing arrangement resulted in £700K annual savings, improved service and customer satisfaction. We have also formed a unique six-figure partnership with Newcastle University, funded by Innovate UK, and our ‘Thriving Byker’ strategy is underpinned by a network of 27 community partners to tackle areas such as health, education and employment.

“We will continually strive to improve service delivery for our residents. In addition to the investment already made on the Estate, we are committed to investing a further £14m over the next five years, contributing to the overall economic health of our neighbourhood, the environment and delivering social value.”

The full Top 50 Social Landlord list will be published in the 24housing magazine July/August issue.