A street of houses manages by Unitas

Unitas Stoke-on-Trent marks second anniversary with UK Housing Awards shortlist

A council housing repairs and maintenance company has celebrated its second anniversary by making the UK Housing Awards shortlist.

Unitas Stoke-on-Trent, which celebrated its second anniversary on Monday (February 3), is up against six other companies for ?DLO of the Year?.

The company, which is wholly owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, submitted an entry to the UK Housing Awards which demonstrated a real commitment to investing in properties and a positive impact on the lives of the people living in them.

Steve Wilson, Operations Director, said: ?We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. We were shortlisted for the same category last year, and we?re hopeful of a win for 2020.

?By the end of this financial year Unitas will have generated a surplus of ?5.4m back to the council, supporting essential services like Children?s Services and Adult Social Care. Over ?61k of social value contribution has been generated to support various local schools, churches, groups and charities. We have celebrated well over 1.7m hours of accident-free work on site and placed ?23m of housing contracts since Unitas? creation.?

The winners of the housing awards shortlist will be announced in May at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.

Councillor Joanne Powell-Beckett, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: ?I think we stand a really good chance of winning 2020 DLO of the Year. I am proud that Unitas has achieved some fantastic results, especially in relation to its innovative approach to staff wellbeing, and last year Unitas was praised for best practice in The Parliamentary Review 2019. Fingers crossed for May.?

Other achievements include the training of 16 Mental Health First Aiders to further support staff in the workplace, resulting in staff sickness rates halving from 6% to 3%. A recent survey indicated 84% of staff would recommend Unitas as a good employer.

The company has invested heavily in the Stoke-on-Trent pound; in the first 12 months since Unitas? inception, 33 companies in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme secured contracts to the value of almost ?7 million ? that?s 76 per cent of available works won by local businesses.

Unitas has also remodelled 24 apartments within three high rise blocks: Seddon Court, Lindop Court and St Luke?s Court. Over 186,800 responsive repairs have been completed and Unitas has installed 180 new bathrooms, 602 new kitchens and 891 composite doors for tenants. The company installed 1,416 central heating systems and 301 roofs, delivered ?3,825k planned works to estates, undertook ?3.2m third party works in addition to the HRA capital and revenue works and carried out planned cyclical servicing to 383 public buildings.

This year Unitas became one of the first UK firms to have its own in-house drone technology to assist with building repairs.

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