Apex Housing Association is a social housing provider and manages over 5,000 homes for families and single people, along with supported housing for people with mental health issues, learning disabilities, people with addiction issues and older people.
68% of its tenants rely solely on social security benefits with an estimated 43% of all tenants living in poverty. Apex works on the principles of social enterprise and its Apex Living and Community Involvement Strategies demonstrates its commitment to go beyond its core business objectives to tackle poverty and disadvantage within communities.
What Apex Housing did
Apex Housing encourages staff to volunteer to help build vibrant and caring communities, spending over £6 million within the past five years on community investment initiatives. It developed a new business unit, Apex Living to manage feedback from communities and coordinate staff and community volunteers to maximise impact. Plans are approved by the Board of Management and outcomes and impact are measured and evaluated through the Apex Calculator.
The organisation has worked with ‘More Than Food’ – a food bank project – along with local businesses to build on the food bank’s work. It supports users to develop skills to make their money go further through cooking projects, and Apex has already in invested more than £400,000 in the development of the project.
The Apex Financial Inclusion Project, funded by Comic Relief, has worked with local community groups to successfully tackle the issue of loan sharks and has set up a number of initiatives to support communities with accessing cheaper goods and services including an oil buying club, energy switching events and a basic bank account scheme.
Apex’s adopted village, Miwaleni in Tanzania, has brought local business benefits whilst transforming the education and health care of that community.
Impacts and Outcomes
Food project supported 3,700 people in one year, redirecting 33 tonnes of food from landfill and helping the financial sustainability of 11 charities in the North West
Affordable Credit Project redirected 148 people away from payday and doorstep lenders and into credit union borrowing; with 93 now saving for the first time ever
In 2016 274 people joined the two oil clubs, saving members a total of £24 on each oil fill
115 people supported to switch to a cheaper electricity provider
167 Apex tenants now have a basic bank account; building a credit history and saving, on average, £576 per year on accessing cheaper goods and services online.
Communities better off by £ £249,827 as a result of Apex’s benefit take-up campaigns
Newly renovated primary school in Africa, with performance improving from 260th out of 272 schools in the area to 10th out of 262, and £211,900 spent on the African village
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