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Value for money

PlaceShapers collectively delivered £109m worth of efficiency savings in 2013/14 according to a unique report just published by the national network of community-based housing associations. This equates to an impressive 2.8% saving on a turnover of £3.84bn and a significant contribution to the “Value For Money” agenda, an agenda that whatever the outcome of the general election will remain a sector priority.

The report, “Measuring Value for Money: Context, Performance and Strategic Issues”, was commissioned by PlaceShapers following its own analysis of the VFM statements submitted by 105 of its members in 2014. It represents a consolidated evaluation of those results in the context of PlaceShapers’ long-term commitment to local communities and the emerging policy framework.

It concludes: “The evidence that economy and efficiency savings and the resulting surpluses are overwhelmingly reinvested in improving housing supply and quality, whilst also protecting and enhancing regeneration activity, demonstrates a long-term commitment to areas and communities which have struggled to share in national prosperity over many decades. PlaceShapers are “in it for the long-term” with a legacy that lasts generations.”

The report also highlights a number of practical issues that, if taken forward, would help develop a robust framework within which sector wide studies such as this can take place. PlaceShapers itself is building on this work with a further “Big Assist” funded project to provide guidance for its members on how framing future VfM statements can support its ability to evidence the network’s collective impact.

The report’s author, Brendan Nevin of North Housing Consulting said today: "This work provides a unique insight into the operating environment, opportunities and challenges faced by place-based housing associations. It also details how important VFM is to delivering a wide variety of locally devised solutions to housing need and economic disadvantage, thus ensuring that the best outcomes are achieved for people, places and stakeholders."

PlaceShapers Chair, Tony Stacey said: “This report is not about saying ‘aren’t PlaceShapers great?’ We wanted to shine a light on how our members are embracing value for money. This means far more to us than passing an exam; it is a journey through service improvement, cultural change and effective use of data. Our businesses are becoming more intelligent and this information, when properly shared and discussed with our customers, can ensure we optimise the impact we are making in local places and on people’s lives. No study like this has been done before and we look forward to sharing the results with the Regulator, our Boards and our local commissioners and stakeholders.”

To read the full report click here.

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