Our Mission is to provide homes for London's workers on modest incomes near their place of work on rents they can afford

Dolphin Living is an affordable housing charity formed in 2005 and initially funded through gifts from the Dolphin Square Trust from the sale of Dolphin Square in Pimlico. Our primary charitable objective is to support London's workers on modest incomes who cannot afford housing near to their place of work. This is fulfilled through the provision of homes to rent at below market levels. In 2024 74% of our 838 homes were available for intermediate rent at an average discount of 40% to the local market rent. We house those who make London work and with whom London is better place to live and work.

Alongside these homes we provide a few, yet highly important, number of homes at social and affordable rents, and to those who are statutorily homeless, meeting our second charitable objective of supporting those in acute housing need. In 2024 6% of our homes were delivering this objective. In response to the source of our initial funding we seek to provide a Westminster benefit by delivering homes in and within a reasonable and reliable commute from Westminster. 42% of our homes are in Westminster.

 

Strategy 2024 - 2027 

Dolphin Living’s unique offer is providing homes at below market rent specifically for working Londoners on modest incomes.

In its early years Dolphin Living was primarily a developer of new homes. Now with a substantial portfolio the charity and its strategy have matured to encompass the stewardship of those homes and the services we provide to our residents with residents being a focal point in all we do. Whilst it is straightforward to measure financial outputs the benefits of a strong customer service culture are often less tangible but equally important. Delivery of a truly customer centric approach requires a culture whereby all Dolphin suppliers and colleagues acknowledge they are accountable for the experience residents have because of the decisions they make. We must also balance allocation of resource between existing homes and current residents with the high demand that exists for more Dolphin Living homes.  

To deliver this strategy we are expanding the Dolphin Living team, bringing in expertise in customer service and asset management, whilst maintaining strong development and finance teams. We are also investing in technology and resources to improve the data and understanding we have of our homes and the services we offer our residents.

We need to deliver our strategic aims whilst being mindful of financial and resource capacity & constraints, data management, external changes to law, regulation and policy, as well as embedding our approach within our culture. Strong governance, financial resilience and responsible management of resources underpin delivery of the strategy. Our strategy will be used as a reference point for business planning, annual budget setting and team objectives, which set out in more detail how this strategy will be delivered.

Our work is underpinned by strong risk management and the Golden Rules which maintain our financial stability.

The Golden Rules are:

  • to deliver an internal minimum Interest Cover Ratio (ICR) of no less than 120%;
  • in respect of lender specific ICR to deliver an ICR of no less than 10 percentage points above the lender ICR covenant; and
  • to hold sufficient liquid assets and undrawn loan facilities to meet all commitments and at least 12 months of operating costs

This strategic plan covers the three years from April 2024. It will be reviewed in early 2027 and, if conditions are appropriate, be extended by up to a further 2 years.

 

A summary of the three pillars - residents, homes and growth

Key issues in the housing sector; affordability, safety, sustainability, emerging legislation and inclusivity, are embedded within our strategy across the three core areas of residents, homes and growth.  These three pillars are not independent of each other and to deliver this strategy the links between them are acknowledged.

 

Residents

Our residents are central to what we do and why we do it. They should all be treated equally irrespective of housing tenure. We will continuously improve our offer to our residents through:

  • Establishing a customer experience management system
  • Delivering improvements in customer experience where it matters most to our residents
  • Growing a resident centric culture across all of Dolphin Living

 

Homes

We provide homes that meet our residents’ needs and that they can afford near to their place of work. We will:

  • Keep our homes and residents safe by delivering 100% health & safety compliance
  • Evolve the repairs service to be resident centric
  • Mitigate our residents' energy costs by making our homes more energy efficient
  • Provide quality homes to all of our residents by ensuring all homes are decent, safe and energy efficient through effective planned maintenance and management

 

Growth

Dolphin will deliver a sustainable level of growth within a 30 minute commute of Westminster by:

  • Improving existing homes and rebuilding our older estates
  • Acquiring affordable housing delivered by other developers
  • Identifying land-led opportunities to deliver new homes