November 14, 2018
Still offering great value
From a distance, it seems there’s a real struggle as to where the future of social housing should lie. In one corner sit the community led housing associations who seem to be under constant pressure from the housing regulator. In another corner there are the huge social housing providers, hungry to absorb small housing associations into their corporate empires. And now councils are getting back into business of building houses. But in this mad dash to meet national housing targets, let’s not forget that small scale, community providers often offer best all round value.
Services for tenants provided by local community controlled housing associations have again outperformed those of other social landlords, according tofrom the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF).
Produced for GWSF by Scotland’s Housing Network, the report compares performance across a range of key Scottish Social Housing Charter outcomes on services to tenants and wider value for money indicators. For the fourth year running, GWSF’s member associations scored more highly than other associations and local authorities.
Examples include the average 2.6 hours it took GWSF member associations to carry out emergency repairs, compared to the Scottish average of four hours. For non-emergency repairs the average for GWSF members was 4.3 days, compared with the Scottish average of 6.4 days.
The average relet time for GWSF member associations was 23.5 days, as against the Scottish average of 30.7 days.
Average rents for GWSF member associations, at £78.09, fell half way between the £85.06 figure for other housing associations and £71.82 for councils.
GWSF chair Helen Moore said: “We know that statistics can never tell the whole story, but once again our report strongly indicates that being a genuinely local landlord maximises the chances of providing the most responsive services for tenants. This year’s outcomes demonstrate a good balance between service quality, investment in stock, and affordability.
“Year on year, the Forum highlights the same trend in Charter outcomes. But it never derails those who still think there are too many local housing associations. Some people just can’t get scale out of their heads, but whatever advantages might be claimed on behalf of larger regional and national landlords, the evidence consistently shows that a better service to tenants isn’t one of them.”