Value for money
The housing regulator in England and Wales, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) requires housing providers to articulate and deliver a comprehensive approach to achieving value for money. This is to take account of the corporate objectives, along with the interests and commitments we share with our stakeholders.
This means managing resources economically, efficiently and effectively to provide quality services and homes, and delivering year-on-year improvements in value for money.
Derwent Living’s approach
Derwent Living is focused on providing good value for money. Our customers want good quality homes and services but expect us to be as efficient and effective as possible so that we can keep costs down.
In order to inform and involve customers we give frequent updates in our magazine Derwent Life and on our website to show how we are using our resources to provide services. We also attend meetings of the customer forum to report on how we are doing and to consult on how we can do better.
We want customers to be able to see how we manage performance and how our resident scrutiny team helps us to raise standards.
What we’ve done
Value for money is about allowing our organisation to do more by making robust decisions and getting the most from the resources we have. This means focusing on costs and ensuring a strategic approach is taken with the activities we undertake. We have focused on:
- Making strategic stock decisions – development opportunities, property sales
- Asset management – ensuring an effective service from our contractors
- Efficiency gains – maintaining service with less resource
- Digital inclusion – developing our online presence
- Customer involvement – tenant participation and scrutiny
- Cost reduction – focus and evaluation of service delivery costs
- Return on assets – understanding the value of assets, and how they help deliver the organisation’s objectives.
We have made progress in terms of our understanding and performance in these areas. Monthly key performance indicators and levels of customer satisfaction are improving, whilst costs are reducing. Efficiency throughout the organisation has seen us generate over £1m in surplus from our social housing stock, whilst our commercial activities have also returned healthy profits, allowing us to commit to a programme of developing over 200 homes a year without government subsidy. We want to improve on this and have identified areas for future efficiency gains.
Commercial activity is undertaken to generate profit, which is then invested to deliver our social purpose. In 2013 this activity generated £20m, (35% of the total group turnover) and delivered £2.3m in profit which in turn supported the addition of 291 affordable homes.
You can download a copy of Derwent Living’s Value for Money Self-Assessment which gives an overview of the value for money work being carried out across the organisation. It outlines how we are performing, how we measure and benchmark value for money as well as demonstrating our innovative use of technology to generate efficiency savings and improve customer service.
Have your say
If you would like more information or would like to get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01332 346477 and ask for a member of the resident involvement team.