A SMALL social housing organisation in Somerset is celebrating after being named landlord of the year by a leading housing magazine.

Bridgwater-based Homes in Sedgemoor was chosen out of hundreds of entrants from across the country by one of the sector’s top publications, 24housing.

Jen Barfoot, chief executive of Bridgwater-based Homes in Sedgemoor (HiS) said: “To say that we are ecstatic at the news is an understatement.

“We have been placed fourth for the past two years and to be named No 1 social landlord in the UK is unbelievable.

“It is a huge testament to every single member of staff, our board and partners who have made us what we are today.”

Mrs Barfoot said the organisation is equally proud of the support it has put in place to help tenants who fall behind with their rent.

She added: “The dedicated work across the organisation working with the income team has resulted in no evictions for rent arrears since January 2018.

“This has all been achieved despite more than 1,100 families being moved onto Universal Credit.

Revealing the Top 50 list, 24Housing praised Homes in Sedgemoor for its Same Day Repairs service, which was introduced in October 2017.

Cllr Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council, said: “Very many congratulations to Homes in Sedgemoor for being voted as 24Housing’s ‘Top Landlord of the Year’.

“We are delighted that residents in Sedgemoor are getting a first class service from HiS and that this has been recognised nationally.”

HiS was set up 12 years ago and is an Arms Length Management Organisation looking after around 4,200 homes on behalf of Sedgemoor District Council.

The council and a number of HiS’s other partners, including Avon and Somerset Police, its main repairs contractor, the MD Group, and Somerset Film backed the nomination.

HiS is also working with Somerset Film on a £1million bid to the Arts Council Creative People and Places fund and Phil Shepherd from Somerset Film said: “There’s no question that we could not have got this far with our plans without the wholehearted support of HiS.

“HiS is a rare gem among public sector organisations with a true commitment to community enrichment.”