This guide can be downloaded here.
When it comes to campaigning, information is power. There is a great deal of information about housing associations, but it is sometimes difficult to find it when you need it. This guidance should help campaigners to analyse and compare statistics produced about housing associations (HAs). It will be useful for responding to landlords’ claims and for your general campaigning.
Using HA Statistics
Given that HAs will generally plead great poverty to justify cuts to services and tenant support, you can and should use the statistics in housing association annual reports and financial statements to find out the truth, and to compare one association against another.
You can also use their data to find out how their performance compares with others, for example repair times and satisfaction levels. For instance, you could start a campaign demanding improvements to your landlord’s response times on repairs and maintenance, using information on the size of their repairs budget in comparison to another, similar association. In addition, you can quote how much surplus your HA is generating (in other words, profit that comes in part from the rents being paid by residents) and argue that more should be spent on repairs to the tenants who are paying the rent. You can also find out how much the board members, chief executive and other senior executives are paid – usually a lot and a source of embarrassment to the landlord!
Quoting from an association’s own documents is always useful when used in print or by the press. The statistics can lend extra weight to your arguments.
Where to Find Information
All of the annual reports and financial statements will be accessible from the website homepage of your HA. For example, you can see the website pages and statements for Peabody below.
- Peabody Homepage
- Peabody Performance Data Page
- Peabody Annual Report to Residents
- Peabody Annual Report
Building a table of how your landlord’s results compare with those of other HAs is useful and usually quite easy, as the ‘key performance indicators’ are generally the same for all HAs. You could for example check if your repairs are completed as fast as others or if the overall level of satisfaction of residents is as high as others. There should be some “safety stats” as well such as gas safety certificate compliance and some statement on fire safety.
Below are examples of comparisons of key stats between Peabody and CBHA from a Peabody Group Benchmarking exercise conducted in 2014.
|Key Performance Indicator||Peabody||CBHA|
|uality of homes||85%||89%|
|Neighbourhood Manager/enquiry resolution||48%||81%|
|Repairs and Maintenance||70%||89%|
|Improvement to your home||78%||90%|
|Communal area repairs||75%||82%|
|Listen to your views and act upon them||62%||82%|
Or you can compare information on complaint handling, as in this example drawn from The Peabody And The CBHA Report And Financial Statements for year ended 31 March 2014.
|Statistics and figures||CBHA||Peabody||Difference|
|% of residents satisfied with overall general needs service they received.||87%||74%||-13%|
|% satisfied with repairs and maintenance service.||89%||86%||-3%|
|% satisfied with quality of completed repairs.||97%||79%||-18%|
|% of complaints resolved at first stage of process.||93%||86%||-7%|
|% of telephone callers were satisfied with handling of call.||93%|
|Satisfaction with complaints handling||43%|
Another useful source of material is the mission statement for your HA. This encapsulates its aims and you will be able to highlight whether it is living up to the values it espouses and its ‘Value for Money’ rating.
As well as the information on landlords’ websites, information is collected and published centrally by government in the Global Accounts.
These are described as:
“An annual summary of the financial status of social housing providers who own or manage at least 1,000 homes. Based on analysis of submitted regulatory returns and statements, the Global Accounts sets out information such as private registered providers’ income and costs, the value of their housing assets and the level of borrowing that they have.”
There is an executive summary (a document giving an overview of the main statistics), plus data already set out in a table format which can be downloaded and filtered to help you find the information you want.
All published global accounts can be found here.