Value for Money pilot shows the value of cost and resource benchmarking for small social landlords

HouseMark ScotlandA Value for Money (VFM) benchmarking pilot, has recently been completed with nine small social landlords from across Scotland.

It examined the costs of providing services, levels of staff resources, as well as levels of tenant satisfaction and service performance.

This is the first time these nine associations have benchmarked the costs of their front line service delivery and back office overheads using HouseMark’s sector-wide methodology and unique validation process.

HouseMark Scotland analysts carried out a rigorous validation exercise to allow performance to be compared with over 330 HouseMark members from across the UK. The pilot exercise found that smaller housing associations are providing more efficient management and maintenance services than larger or medium sized organisations, according to a new report published by HouseMark Scotland.

Although housing management costs are broadly in line with those of other landlords, smaller landlords deliver better performance in some areas, with better rent collection and quicker turnaround of vacant homes, according to the report, The pilot also found that the cost of providing housing maintenance services is broadly in line with other landlords, although on average, smaller associations deliver a more efficient service. The research did, however, find that larger providers tend to achieve economies of scale, with lower employee, finance and overheads costs.

Across all HouseMark members, smaller landlords report significantly higher levels of satisfaction, and this is also true of the pilot landlords. Eight out of the nine reported higher than average levels of satisfaction overall, however four out of the nine organisations reported lower than average tenant satisfaction that rent provides value for money.

Kirsty Wells, head of HouseMark Scotland, said: “Providing good Value for Money, both to tenants and to the public purse is critical. This report identifies lessons that could be learned from smaller social housing associations, but also where there may be scope for some small landlords to reduce costs or improve services.”

Andrew Saunders, chief executive of Ore Valley Housing Association, which participated in the pilot, said: “Value for money is becoming increasingly important for us as an organisation. Our involvement in the pilot and with HouseMark Scotland more generally has been incredibly useful in focusing our thinking on areas where either we can see that we are out of step with others, or where we need to carry out further analysis. We see the great value in cost benchmarking as it provides opportunities to learn from others and to share our own experiences”

HouseMark is the leading provider of integrated data and analysis, insightful knowledge and information services for the social housing sector. HouseMark Scotland’s newly expanded team will be working with members to further develop their understanding of their costs to make sure they can provide value for money and positive outcomes for their tenants.

For further information about HouseMark Scotland please contact or telephone 0131 240 5212.

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