When did it all Begin?
Orwell Housing Association was formed in 1963 in Ipswich, employing no staff and managing only 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 whilst managing approximately 4,000 homes for 7500+ residents.
Orwell occupies a refurbished Victorian building at 325 London Road, Ipswich, as our Registered Head Office, as well as a branch office in Lowestoft to cater for our tenants in the Waveney & Great Yarmouth areas.
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.Discover more
We live by our values and they are:
Together we are people-focused
People are at the heart of our business. By recognising people’s diverse needs and strengths and treating everyone fairly we can both serve our customers better and support our teams to run a brilliant business and improve services.
Together we are ambitious
We are ambitious to grow the organisation so that it can do more and realise the full potential of Orwell, our employees, and those we support and house.
Together we are collaborative
We will work in partnership and search out best practice. We will collaborate with tenants, customers and colleagues and like-minded organisations to develop solutions together.
Together we are effective
We will be economic and embed efficiency across our services ensuring we lead the way with our knowledge and expertise. We will ensure that our teams are committed and competent to be the best at what they do in order that they can provide the highest possible standards of service.
Orwell’s vision is to make a positive difference to the quality of life and future opportunities of our customers, employees and communities.
Together We Make A Difference
Orwell's business and partnerships
The majority of Orwell's housing is located in the Ipswich and Lowestoft town areas; however, in recent years Orwell has evolved and has properties in all districts within Suffolk, South Norfolk, North Essex and Cambridgeshire. Orwell 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, 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, click here.
How does Orwell financially support itself?
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 Homes England to build and refurbish properties which increase the Association's housing portfolio. The Association is one of 95 organisations which are Homes England partners for development.
Who makes the decisions?
Orwell is overseen by a Board of up to twelve members. Orwell's services are regularly reviewed by working groups involving tenants.
The Executive Team consists of our CEO and four directors across the service areas of:
- Customers & communities
- Care & support
- Resources and growth
- People and culture
Orwell is generally regulated by the Regulator of Social Housing, which ensures that its processes and practices comply with their requirements and that it is financially viable. Orwell's care services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Orwell leads a consortium of seven housing organisations collectively called e² (pronounced 'e squared'). The consortium comprises Orwell Housing Association, Saffron Housing Trust, Freebridge Community Housing Trust , Colchester Borough Homes, Greenfields Community Housing, Ipswich Borough Homes and Waveney District Council. Orwell provides development services for these organisations, with Orwell securing grant funding from 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. They are also 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
Other pages to explore...
Below you can find other information about Orwell.