HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL HOUSING FUNDS GO FURTHER
The fact that local authorities and housing associations are under financial pressure is hardly news. Cost pressures include staffing, energy and the labour and materials needed to deliver property services and build new homes.
Meanwhile there’s limited opportunity to balance the books through increased rents. Even if increases weren’t capped many residents would have little hope of paying significantly more. Efficiency and value for money have never mattered more. Even more so when you consider the impact of new regulations and compliance requirements.
If there’s no more money in real terms the onus is on property services partners to deliver more, with effectively less funding. While that’s not simple, it is possible.
Eliminating Waste in All Its Forms
Waste is the first point of call. By that we mean wasted time and effort as well as wasted materials. Wasted effort comes in many forms. It can be operatives turning up to do a job to find nobody at home. It can mean turning up without the right equipment or materials to complete the job at the first attempt.
Wasted effort can simply mean spending unnecessary time driving between work sites or depots because of inefficient route planning. The finances of social housing allow no room for any of this.
Systems and Processes
When mobilising any new property services contract we’re on the hunt for wasted effort. Typically we replace manual processes with modern technology that covers the process from end to end. From the moment a resident reports a fault to the moment the repair is signed off – everything is logged immediately through digital applications.
Technology also helps schedule operatives and sub-contractors with greater efficiency, whether for responsive repairs or scheduled maintenance and improvements. Ultimately it’s about improving efficiency and control so that the process of innovating to eliminate waste and create value never ends.