On 28th November 2005, Preston City Council tenants were asked to vote in one of the most important ballots they would ever take part in and Community Gateway was born!
Local people wanted more investment in homes and surrounding estates, an improved, more responsive repairs service, with affordable rent and the same rights and security they held as Council tenants. Preston City Council simply did not have the money to spend the vast sums needed, but by creating a new tenant-led housing association money could be brought into the city. It was down to the tenants themselves and they chose overwhelming to say “Yes” and make the switch to the new landlord, Community Gateway Association, the first housing association in the UK to be based on the Gateway model which puts tenants at its heart.
Gill Lawson, founding board member of Community Gateway, who sadly passed away last year, was passionate in fighting for the tenants’ voice to be heard. She said:
“We would like every neighbourhood in Preston to be a place to be proud of, a place where people choose to live, where they are happy to bring up their children and to retire….the new housing association will be run under the Gateway principles and will bring in £80m to spend in a massive investment on bringing homes up to decent standard.”
You can hear more from Gill and others by watching the stock transfer video below.
This week marks 15 years since our journey began and we are proud to have delivered on our transfer promises and the many successes along the way. It’s always the voice of our tenants that drives the direction of CGA – indeed our current Chair of the Board is a tenant in one of our sheltered schemes. It’s by listening to our customers that we ensure we deliver the services you want in the way that you want.
Some of the highlights over our 15 years have included bringing our Gateway PropertyCare and GreenCare teams in house in 2013 and 2014, ensuring value for money and a more responsive service. In 2013, Preston Vocational Centre joined us as our subsidiary company and since then the team at the Centre has transformed the lives of many young people across Preston through a range of vocational training.
You can see some of our key highlights in our Birthday timeline here.
We will be celebrating with our colleagues and customers throughout this week leading up to our Birthday on Saturday, so keep an eye on the website and social media for the latest news. #CGAIs15