Housing associations have become more financially efficient

// HA News

New report analyses previously unseen data to show extensive work across the sector to reduce operating costs and cut rent arrears.

A new report https://www.housemarkbusinessintelligence.co.uk/data/overheads-data-analysis has found that housing associations have become more efficient over the last six years. The data, which was prepared by HouseMark for the National Housing Federation, provides an in-depth look at the industry and its work to cut costs whilst improving services.

The report analysed benchmarking data submitted by more than 250 English housing associations to get a broad and accurate picture of the industry. It analysed customer satisfaction, overheads, housing management, repairs and maintenance, and energy efficiency between 2008/09 and 2014/15.

Among the key findings of the report were:

  • overheads as a percentage of turnover have reduced from 13.6% to 11.8% at the median
  • repair costs decreased by 12.1% at the median, and repair times also declined slightly
  • housing management costs (per property), decreased by 0.6% at the median in real terms
  • energy efficiency has increased by 3.5 SAP points at the median

A reduction in overheads as a percentage of turnover means that housing associations can release further investment for much needed new housing, and invest in existing properties and regeneration schemes. The report also found that housing associations had increased their investment in rent collection to bring down rent arrears levels and had cut the cost of the repair service whilst continuing to provide a responsive service to tenants.

Speaking as the report was released, Gill Payne, Director of Policy and External Affairs, from the National Housing Federation, said "Nobody can deny that there is a housing crisis facing the country, which is why housing associations are working so hard to build new homes and invest in their existing housing stock. The findings in this report demonstrate the tireless work of housing associations to maximise their resources whilst continuing to provide good quality homes and services. This report shows the good work that has already been done by our members, and provides a benchmark for future progress."

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