Sunderland-based housing association Gentoo Group will invest £417 million on improving its homes and bringing 1,100 rented properties and new homes for sale to the market over the next five years.

The housing provider’s 2019-24 business plan features an ambitious £300 million investment package to improve its existing homes. It includes:
• £22 million to fit more than 9,000 properties with full double-glazed windows by 2023.
• £38 million on fire risk works, external painting and environmental improvements to estates.
• £110 million on repairs and maintenance services.

The Group also announced plans to increase the number of affordable rented properties available in Sunderland. Through its affordable homes plan, Gentoo will invest a further £117 million and provide an additional 900 homes for affordable rent in the city by 2024 via a mixture of new build and existing properties. In addition, its commercial arm, Gentoo Homes, will build in excess of 200 new homes for sale each year and generate an annual profit in the region of £4 million to subsidise the Group’s affordable homes plan.

Gentoo’s business plan has clear objectives on enhancing services for tenants, including:
• improving its digital offer
• improving the services for tenants with complex needs
• strengthening the customer voice in all of its work

“Our five-year business plan is an ambitious programme of investment and house building but our tenants are at its heart.

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We want to ensure our tenants’ voices are heard and they have the chance to influence and shape the services we deliver for them. Our property investment programme will also ensure they have the best quality homes possible in estates they are proud to call home.

“Gentoo is directly addressing the ongoing shortage of affordable rented homes in the city by committing to bringing 900 more properties to the market in the next five years. Together with our Gentoo Homes build programme, we will provide a huge choice of rented and private properties for the people of Sunderland and the wider region.”

Gentoo Group manages over 28,000 properties across Sunderland. It is one of the largest employers in Sunderland and landlords in the North East.