In addition to investing in communities by providing homes that people want to live in at affordable rents, we look to improve the external façade of buildings and other outdoor areas. For our tenants, the look and feel of a neighbourhood plays an important role in how they feel about their home and the community they live in. During 2018, we re-invested over one third of total rental income across all of our improvement programmes.

Within our new ‘Better Futures’ CR Plan, we have structured our charitable giving in a more strategic way through our Community Investment Policy and focus on supporting causes that have a link to our area of business. We have therefore elected to support charities in Berlin where there is a connection with the ‘home’.

Phoenix Spree is supporting a women’s refuge (The Intercultural Initiative) that helps women affected by domestic violence. This charity provides emergency shelter, advice and counselling to the women and their children. The counsellors provide the women with information on topics such as education, legal and custody issues and help them develop their social networks so they can rebuild their confidence and their lives. Their children are helped with any educational issues and receive support on how to process and cope with their domestic abuse experience. We will look for further charities to partner with where our support can make a positive impact around the theme of ‘home’.

PMM, our key partner, is supporting two charities in London, SPEAR and SHP, that work with homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless. PMM’s support funds an outreach service that SPEAR runs, helping rough sleepers into accommodation and helping them to address health and wider social care problems. With SHP, PMM is funding an employability programme that helps homeless people find a job and secure a sustainable income that enables them to afford housing.

PMM has appointed a Charity Champion in both their Berlin and London offices to engage employees with these charitable activities. PMM employees are also encouraged to volunteer, receiving one day’s paid leave to volunteer for a charity should they so wish. Some employees have already taken this up, volunteering with SHP prior to Christmas delivering Christmas presents to homeless people.