Sunderland housing group Gentoo opens new ‘value for money’ offices in Washington

The Gentoo Group has completed a move to new offices in Washington as part of an effort to improve on services to tenants and give value for money.

By Tony Gillan
Saturday, 20th March 2021, 7:00 am

The housing group previously had Washington headquarters on Victoria Road in Concord and in the Galleries shopping centre.

The single new office is at Pennine House, an office block close to the Galleries and a short walk from Washington’s main bus station.

The new office will become Gentoo’s hub for Washington and will provide the same tenancy services as its previous two offices.

Gentoo's new Washington base is in Pennine House, close to the Galleries.

Before the Government introduced Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, the Concord and Galleries offices were reporting significantly reduced footfall. Over the past year the group has focused on its digital services for tenants via its online portal, My Gentoo.

Almost a third of those eligible have registered for the system, which allows tenants to manage aspects of their tenancy and report and rearrange their own repairs online.

The new office will be responsible for managing more than 6,000 tenancies. Gentoo say their intention is to maintain local offices in convenient and accessible locations.

Furniture and equipment from the former buildings has been moved into Pennine House to minimise costs.

Tenants are greeted on the first floor of Pennine House.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive officer at the group, said: “Gentoo is fully committed to supporting tenants to maintain successful tenancies and to providing services that are efficient and value for money.

“We’re confident the new Washington office represents far greater value for money, whilst still providing tenants with all the services they received at their former offices. When the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions allow, we look forward to welcoming tenants into Pennine House.”

The move is part of a wider review of Gentoo’s offices and depots across Sunderland. In 2020 the group moved offices from Silksworth to Doxford Park. Later in 2021 offices will relocate from premises in the Athenaeum building in Fawcett Street and Havelock in Pennywell.

They will then work from the new City Hall building in the centre of the city.

Gentoo will meet with tenants in this room.

In line with the Government’s current covid restrictions, Gentoo’s local offices are currently closed to the public and visits are only possible by a pre-arranged appointment. Offices will reopen to the public no earlier than April 12.

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The new offices are decorated with images of Washington landmarks.