The success of our company is based on the satisfaction of our customers, the quality of our portfolio and the ability to provide new homes that meet people’s needs. The social aspect of the rental business is currently attracting increased public and political attention. This is due to the high demand for affordable housing, particularly in metropolitan areas, and concerns that people may no longer be able to afford their homes. This trend reinforces our commitment to responsible, needs-based residential rentals for broad sections of the population as well as to holistic community development. We set this commitment out in our Business Philosophy and other voluntary commitments at the beginning of 2019. We are responding to the demand for new living space with Vonovia’s new construction projects as well as through development measures implemented by the BUWOG companies.
In order to feel at home, many people want to be involved in decisions that will have an impact on the environment around them. For us, this means involving tenants and residents in community development measures and construction projects and letting them have their say. These participation measures are becoming increasingly important in order to foster acceptance of our projects.
This results in the following material topics for Vonovia related to society and customers, which are visually depicted in our materiality matrix. We have summarized individual key topics:
What we achieved in 2019
- Introduction of a new online tool developed by the service provider “AktivBo” to measure customer satisfaction
- € 482 million invested in (capitalized) maintenance, € 997 million in modernization and around € 60 million in 13 community development projects
- Modernization cost allocation limited to max. € 2/m2 – 2019 average: € 1.36/m2
- Around 15,000 apartments (partially) modernized to make them senior-friendly; almost 50% of the 33,600 newly rented apartments
- Over 70s arrangement: ensuring affordable housing for tenants aged over 70; help for 176 customers
- Hardship management: 1,600 customers provided with assistance in connection with 13,200 modernization measures
- Grants for social projects and facilities totaling more than € 900,000 and new funding concepts put in place for this purpose
- Tenant satisfaction
- Creating living space & affordable rents
- Portfolio maintenance & tenant health and safety
- Community development & corporate citizenship and philanthropy
Tenant satisfaction: We systematically pursue solution-oriented approaches that address the needs and means of our tenants. We aim to work with them and for them to create a contemporary residential environment that offers a high standard of living by taking a holistic approach and exploiting new options for shaping this environment, allowing them to remain in their Vonovia property in the long term.
Creating living space and affordable rents: We are helping to ease the tense situation on the housing markets by creating needs-based, and most importantly affordable, housing using a combination of new construction measures, vertical expansion and densification. We use efficient building management processes to ensure that our homes remain affordable. We find individual solutions for all of our tenants thanks to our numerous voluntary commitments, customer-centric hardship management and rent-controlled homes.
Portfolio maintenance and tenant health and safety: We develop our homes to meet our tenants’ requirements, for example, through maintenance and modernization measures and senior-friendly apartment conversions. For us, safety and healthy living are fundamental elements in the design of our apartments and the surrounding area. We make sure that we use environmentally friendly and safe materials, and offer our tenants additional services for more comfortable homes.
Community development and corporate citizenship and philanthropy: We are committed to being good corporate citizens, especially in our neighborhoods, for example, by cooperating with social, educational and cultural facilities. We take social, ecological and economic circumstances into consideration in our approaches. We also initiate participation concepts in order to purposefully include the people living in our neighborhoods and to increase acceptance of the measures we intend to take. As a company, we benefit and learn from their suggestions.
In the following chapters we will deal with these topics in more depth and explain their importance to Vonovia. We will describe the management approach, challenges, opportunities and risks, targets, measures and indicators for each topic.