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Stock Profiling – The State of our Estates

Since 1997, the social housing sector has seen a 24% fall in the amount of money that is being spent on repairs and maintenance, begging the question, whether the UK’s housing stock is truly up to the required standards?

It is a given that in this day and age, you should be entitled to a home that is fit for purpose, but also a home that does not hinder your lifestyle, prospects or livelihood. However, with social housing maintenance and repair works at a 20-year low, can we really be sure that this is a given?

The new report, titled ‘The State of our Estates’, details how spending has fallen from £9.3bn to £7.1bn in just 20 years, despite the number of public sector homes only falling 542,000 during that same period.

Key to the report, which was based on figures obtained from the government, was that almost two fifths of repairs and maintenance works (36%) were carried out in London and the South East. With average spending in London and the South East, costing £1,481 per property, compared to just £530 in the North East and £662 in the North West.

Housing Quality Concern – Is it justified?

According to the latest home owner’s survey, 63% of the population (32 million people), are seriously concerned about the quality of the countries homes, labelling them ‘not fit for purpose’. And this concern is rightly so justified, with a fifth of dwellings (4.5m homes) failing to meet the decent homes standard.

When this result is broken down further, 25% of those homes that fail are in the private rented sector, 19% are owner-occupied homes, and 13% are in the social rented sector. An aspect which is extremely concerning, given that the Decent Homes Standard, is the legal statutory requirement that all housing must meet. Action needs to be taken, and it is now time that a joint effort is made to improve.

The report highlights a series of ways this can be done, including: lifting the restriction on ‘Right to Buy’ receipts; placing greater scrutiny on the housing stock within the private rented sector; and making sure organisations have a clear asset management strategy in place.

Why asset management should be at the top of your agenda?

Our recent blog on asset management, highlighted the importance of having a clear and concise asset management strategy in place, citing how the failure to have one can quickly lead to serious performance challenges within organisations. When this is the case, you could face a whole host of issues, including regulatory scrutiny, especially if your board or leadership team, does not have the effective oversight, or a clear strategy in place for the long term management of its assets.

The 2018, Value for Money standard, has provided sector wide clarity on this issue, detailing the requirement for housing providers to clearly state their strategic objectives, along with Boards having an approved approach in demonstrating Value for Money within the objectives.

However, this can only be achieved if organisations and leaders truly understand how they can ensure the maximum benefits are derived from its assets.

What can organisations use to help them understand their assets?

Stock Profiling, also known as Asset Performance Evaluation or Stock Grading, is the ideal tool to provide organisations with complete assurance that any future, investment, or de-investment, decisions are evidenced-based, and in line with their strategic objectives -  meeting the requirements of the Value for Money standard.

We keep things simple, but tailor them to your needs…

At Pennington Choices, we have over a decade of experience in stock profiling. During that time we have helped housing providers and local authorities across the UK.

We use a tailor-made data modelling tool, which will provide you with the unique ability to manage your stock, based on our recommendations on how each asset group should be prioritised. This will take into account the differences of your organisations operating environment, tenant needs and the financial/non-financial criteria relevant to your asset management strategy.

There are countless ways in which a clear asset management strategy can be of benefit to your organisation, including: enabling you to understand the value and limitations of your current property portfolio; allowing you to maximise financial return on your assets through data led decision making; and providing you with an understanding of which assets work best in the long term (over 30 years). To learn how to improve, maintain and make efficiencies to your property portfolio, contact our Head of Consultancy, Sarah Davies here to find out more and to learn how we can help you.

To read the full The State of our Estates report, click here