We're the largest housing association in West Oxfordshire and last week we marked our 20th anniversary.
Originally called West Oxfordshire Housing, we were formed on 26 March 2001 when we took transfer of 3,643 homes from West Oxfordshire District Council. The Large-Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) happened after the council consulted its tenants on the future ownership of its then housing stock and they voted in favour of a transfer.
In our first five years, we invested around £20m in installing central heating and double glazing, fitted over 1,000 new bathrooms and kitchens, and also carried out a range of other work including loft installation, new external doors and fitting smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as appropriate. We now invest over £7m per year in maintaining and improving homes for our customers, with safety being a priority.
We have provided more than 1,700 additional new affordable homes in the last two decades, with a focus in more recent years on shared ownership as well as properties for affordable rent. We now have over 5,000 homes in our portfolio, the majority in West Oxfordshire with around 20 per cent outside the district in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.
Andrew Hall, Chair of our Board, said: “Like everyone, we’re facing lots of challenges at the moment due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but Cottsway has reacted quickly and with resilience to ensure we’ve been able to keep services running as smoothly as possible.
“Cottsway has come a long way, particularly in recent years, and I am proud to say that customers are at the heart of everything. As we celebrate the past 20 years, we’re also looking to the future and I am confident that Cottsway is in a great position to grow and develop and, most importantly, to serve its customers and work in partnership with others to do more to support those in housing need.”
Over the next 10 years, we aim to invest more than £330 million in new homes, doubling the number of homes we own and manage to 10,000. We also plan to spend around £85 million to increase the quality, safety, and energy efficiency of our existing properties in line with government standards.
West Oxfordshire District Council is responsible for West Oxfordshire’s housing waiting list and is a key partner for Cottsway.
Cllr Merilyn Davies, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Cottsway offers residents in West Oxfordshire the opportunity to live in affordable homes but also does so much more than this. It gives residents a secure tenancy with support and advice running alongside that provided by West Oxfordshire District Council.
“Cottsway puts residents at the heart of what it does and we look forward to working together to ensure residents keep getting the very best they can out of living in West Oxfordshire."
For more information about applying for one of our homes, see Find a property