About Us

Image of about us logo When did it all

Orwell Housing Association was formed in 1963 in Ipswich, employing no staff and managing a handful of properties. Today, Orwell provides a range of services including housing, support and care services. We employ around 700 staff including relief and volunteers and manage approximately 4,000 homes for 7500+ residents. 

Orwell occupies a refurbished Victorian building at 325 London Road, Ipswich, as our Registered Head Office and we also have a branch office in Lowestoft to cater for our tenants in the Waveney & Great Yarmouth areas.

Customer Care 

Orwell has an enviable track record of providing customer orientated services to tenants and service users. The most recent survey indicated that 93% of tenants were satisfied with the services Orwell provides. 

Our Organisational Values

  • Our Organisational Values are set out in our People Promise and are broadly as follows:
  • Be Fair
  • Be Approachable
  • Have Integrity
  • Respect Others
  • Listen
  • Be Caring and Supportive
  • And … make Orwell an enjoyable place to work

Our Vision

Orwell’s plan for the next five years is to embrace our Vision, working as an organisation and with our partners and customers to ensure that:

Together We Make A Difference

Orwell's business and property portfolioImage of Crane Hill Lodge on London Road

The majority of Orwell's housing is located in the Ipswich and Lowestoft town areas; however, in recent years Orwell has become more diverse and now has properties in all districts within Suffolk, South Norfolk, North Essex and Cambridgeshire, and also manages (as well as owning the majority of) five sheltered housing schemes, twelve extra care housing schemes, eight schemes supporting adults with learning difficulties and eight temporary supported housing schemes including two women’s refuges.

Orwell is currently the largest supported housing provider in Suffolk and also owns 39 additional supported living schemes. Orwell works in partnership with a number of different agencies to provide housing management, support and care services in a wide range of accommodation. The agencies we currently work with include: Access Community Trust, Affinity, Anglia Care Trust, Avenues Group, Break, Care UK, Dimensions, ENS, Family Mosaic, Heritage Care, Heywoods Grange, Home Group, Julian Support, Leading Lives, Mencap, Papworth Trust, Suffolk Social Care Services, The Benjamin Foundation and United Response.

Orwell's current budgeted turnover is approximately £55m. The Statement of Comprehensive Income and the Balance Sheet can be viewed in the Annual Report.

To view a map of all Orwell's properties and their locations, follow this link.

Where does the money come from?

Orwell Housing Association is non-profit making and is only permitted to make a surplus which must be reinvested in Orwell to carry out improvements to existing stock. Additionally, Orwell bids for funding from the Homes England to build and refurbish properties which increase the Association's housing portfolio. The Association is one of some 95 organisations which are Homes England partners for development. To put this into context, there are some 2,000 associations in the country.

Who makes the decisions?

Orwell is overseen by a Board comprising ten members. Orwell's services are regularly reviewed by working groups involving tenants.

The Executive Team consists of a Chief Executive and three directors across the service areas of:

  • Development and Property Maintenance
  • Resources
  • Housing Management, Support and Care

Orwell is generally regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing, which ensures that its processes and practices comply with their requirements and that it financially viable. Orwell's care services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

e² Consortium 

e Squared logo

Orwell leads a consortium of seven housing organisations collectively called e² (pronounced 'e squared'). The consortium comprises Orwell Housing Association, Saffron Housing Trust (formerly South Norfolk District Council), Freebridge Community Housing Trust (formerly Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council), Colchester Borough Homes (which is an arm's length management organisation of Colchester Borough Council), Greenfields Community Housing, Ipswich Borough Homes and Waveney District Council. Orwell provides development services for these organisations, with Orwell securing grant funding from the Homes England both for itself and its partners.

Additionally, the organisations jointly purchase and deliver training of mutual interest to staff, board members and tenants and are moving to a wider joint procurement strategy as well as formal arrangements to share information.

Orwell Housing Association Registration

ORWELL HOUSING ASSOCIATION LIMITED is a registered society with charitable status under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 with registration number 16460R