Housing associations' repairs sharing scheme to save £7m
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
Two Worcestershire-based housing associations have come together to create a ‘cost-sharing’ initiative that could result in savings of around £7 million over the next 10 years.
The initiative will mean that Festival Property Care (FPC), a subsidiary of Festival Housing, will undertake the day-to-day repairs and long-term maintenance for the 6,000-plus households owned and managed by Rooftop Housing Group. The combined activities will have a contract value of £6m a year, boosting FPC’s annual turnover to £20m.
The partnership will enable greater flexibility in the delivery of responsive repairs and ongoing improvements to homes, as well as gas servicing and grounds maintenance.
As part of the new arrangement Rooftop and its subsidiaries will become shareholders in FPC. This means that the predicted savings of around £700,000 each year can be re-invested back into core housing activities rather than shared with a contractor.
Rachel Lathan, chair of Evesham and Pershore Housing Association (part of Rooftop), said: “As a board member, and also a Rooftop resident, I am delighted that we have adopted this new cost-sharing approach. We will now have direct influence over the operatives that are the most visible face of Rooftop, and we will be able to deliver increased investment into our homes and communities.”
To ensure the contract achieves the efficiencies outlined, there will be a number of controls in place including robust service level agreements, regular core group meetings involving residents, quarterly monitoring and external audits.
David Baddeley, FPC operations, said: “This is a really exciting initiative that is new to the social housing sector. The creation of the cost sharing group builds on the excellent relationship we have with Rooftop and means that together we can make every penny count. It also provides long term security for our existing workforce and will create further training and apprenticeship opportunities which are increasingly important, not just for the future of our business, but for the communities that we serve.”