New report on social impact of the housing sector highlights new ways to measure value created by housing providers
New report on social impact of housing sector launched by HACT today, for the first time applies HM Treasury Green Book compliant methodologies to value the wellbeing created by the social housing and community investment activities of housing providers.
Supported by major institutional investor Legal & General and Plus Dane Housing Group, the report uses data from the last twenty years of the British Household Panel Survey to create the most robust set of metrics to date on differing ways in which in housing benefits the individual wellbeing of residents.
The research was carried out by Daniel Fujiwara an economist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who has recently published guidelines on valuation for the UK Government, including an update to the HM Treasury Green Book manual. Daniel was previously head of cost–benefit analysis at the Department for Work and Pensions and a senior economist in the Government Economic Service. He is currently scientific advisor to the SROI Network and works with a number of OECD governments on policy evaluation.
Launching the report, HACT Chief Executive, Matt Leach said
“As the housing providers move from an era of top down regulation and directed investment towards greater autonomy and diversity of approach, defining social purpose and measuring and evidencing the extent to which they are achieving impact are becoming increasingly important.”
“Effective measurement of the impact of housing provider investment is critical to assessing the extent to which need is being met, and ensuring value for money. It also provides a firm base from which to meet remaining regulatory requirements, in particular HCA regulatory standards in relation to value for money and local area cooperation; engage with partners at a local level; and – from January 2013 – meet new and emerging demands arising from implementation of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. “
“Most importantly, it provides a basis from which housing providers, as ethos driven, not-for-profit bodies seeking both to provide homes and deliver positive social impact, can assess the extent to which they are succeeding in meeting their own organisational missions.”
Peter Gladwell, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at L&G Property said:
“The recent financial crisis has left many established investment paradigms in tatters. Those stewarding the pensions and investments of others need to look more deeply than financial returns to assess how they are best able to deploy that capital to benefit society, in the fulfilment of their fiduciary duty. For an institution to have a Corporate Social Responsibility department tacked on is no longer enough - this requires social impact to be evaluated by every investment professional, in every investment decision. “
“This growing movement needs tools to inform its decision making. Whilst it should be self-evident that investing into a partnership with a Housing Association to fund housing is highly socially beneficial, in a world that needs objective measures to assess investment opportunities, a new tool set is required for those who view capital as more than simply a means to generate a financial return. And that is why Legal & General is proud to both support and be associated with this initiative. “