Haymarket Group plans to add value to customers and the Charter

River Clyde HomesA group of housing associations are considering sharing greater information regarding their performance and value for money within their Annual Return on the Charter (ARC) reports to tenants each year.

Formed in 2015, the ‘Haymarket Group’ of housing associations has been meeting to discuss how they could improve the information that tenants and customers receive annually from their landlords.

Members of the group recognise the importance of the performance information contained within the ARC report but want to do more around sharing greater information relating to value for money, the cost of providing services and the affordability of rents.

Group members include Berwickshire Housing Association, Cairn Housing Association, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Eildon Housing Association, Glen Oaks Housing Association, Ore Valley Housing Association, Queens Cross Housing Association, River Clyde Homes, Scottish Borders Housing Association and Waverley Housing.

Key cost performance indicators in the reports will include the costs of housing management; responsive repairs and void works; planned maintenance and overheads.

River Clyde Homes produced its ARC report for 2015/16 last month to include this additional information with other Haymarket Group members doing something similar or planning to do the same next year for their 2016/17 data.

River Clyde Homes said its intention is to test customer feedback on the usefulness of the new style of report and the information it contains with a view to developing it and improving its impact over the next twelve months.

Kevin Scarlett, chief executive of River Clyde Homes, said: “It is clear that the Scottish Housing Regulator wants to see landlords respond in a voluntary way to being more transparent and accountable to their stakeholders for things such as the cost of their services.

“A number of members of the Haymarket Group are keen to lead the way in showing what is possible when we use our in-depth cost benchmarking data to report to tenants on issues such as value for money and rent affordability. These issues are of critical importance to tenants to ensure they successfully maintain their tenancy. This year is a first step and as a group we will build on this in 2017.”

By reporting in this way about their operating costs and value for money, housing providers will enable their costs and services to be benchmarked with similar providers. This will enable greater transparency for tenants and provide more opportunity for them to hold their landlord to account in relation to the Charter.

Tenants currently receive information to allow scrutiny on performance and satisfaction. The additional information will introduce the opportunity for greater scrutiny of a landlord’s value for money and any social impact in the wider community.

To find out more about joining the Haymarket Group or for further information about its work please contact Kevin Scarlett by email: kevin.scarlett@riverclydehomes.org.uk or Kirsty Wells at kirsty.wells@housemark.co.uk.

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