SBHA - Value for Money Statement 2016

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
Who We Are                        
Steve Biko Housing Association (SBHA) was formed by Liverpool’s Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community as a direct result of race discrimination in Liverpool’s social housing allocations policy.  Registered under the Housing Corporations BME strategy to provide quality homes for those in need. 
Our Vision:  “Homes and Communities without Racism” and our Mission is: “We will provide housing and related services that are responsive to the needs of BME communities and we will enable tenants and local communities to influence decisions that affect their lives.  We will do this in a way that influences and challenge social and economic structures that contribute to or entrench discrimination and disadvantage by putting racial equality at the heart of our work.”

Our Objectives:
·         Quality Service to Tenants
·         Governance
·         Quality Organisation
·         Promoting Equality
·         Community Empowerment

Our Vision, Mission and objectives were reviewed and confirmed by Board in October 2015 and continues to set the foundations for all of the work that SBHA undertakes. 
In line with the Home and Communities Agency’s Value for Money Standard, SBHA’s Financial Regulations and Value for Money Strategy, SBHA seeks to achieve value for money on all activities and expenditure and ensure rental income is maximised and collected in an efficient and timely manner.      
The Association fully understands that we have a duty to ensure value for money for our activities and that our income, our tenants rent is used wisely.
SBHA has provided its own housing management service since 2012.  The office location is at the heart of our area of operation to provide a more personal and improved customer facing service. Our office is rented on a fixed 10 year lease from Liverpool City Council (LCC).     The Association is exploring purchasing the offices from LCC this action will provide security and improved value for money.   
The Association has ensured that our housing management service is focused on delivering a more customer focused service with an emphasis in building relationships with our tenants to ensure that communication is open and that we get better at understanding their needs.
The improved office arrangements have created a better located and more accessible stand-alone independent office with meeting and training facilities which can house more staff at a lower cost than the previous arrangements.  
What We Do.
As a BME Housing Association that is rooted in the community that we serve, as well as providing homes for people to live we support our tenants and wider diverse communities within our neighbourhoods. 
In terms of social value, as a unique BME Association, it employs a number of specialist staff, including a bilingual worker to assist with the effective integration of our non-English speaking tenants in the local community. The Association also employs a Community Regeneration Manager to facilitate wider tenant involvement and participation in community led initiatives to improve social cohesion within our
own and neighbouring communities.  
Our Community Regeneration Service is recognised as a vital anchor organisation that helps to support and works with numerous community organisations within our neighbourhood. We work in partnership with individuals and a wide variety of community organisations and statutory organisations to identify issues to develop and deliver solutions within a framework that promotes racial equality and challenges discrimination.
Examples of community organisations that we support and work closely with include: Amadudu Womens Domestic Violence Refuge, African Caribbean Heritage Centre, Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust, The Unity Youth Club, the Pakistani Multi-Cultural Centre, and the Somali Womens Group.  (List not exhaustive)
We play a strategic role within the Liverpool City Region governing structures, such as the Liverpool City Region Strategic Housing Partnership, the Equalities in Housing Working Group, the Merseyside Community Safety Partnership and the Liverpool Strategic Community Cohesion Panel.
We have a history of taking on volunteers, and during 2016 we were successful in a grant application to Tesco for £12,000 to run a gardening skills programme that saw 6 tenants learn gardening and carpentering skills to enhance one of the large gardens at our sheltered scheme.  The programme was highly successful and we will now build on this to develop a gardening skills programme.
The Association has invested in the HACT Social Investment Impact tool so that we are able to monitor and have a clear understanding in respect of value for money and of the social impact of this service to our local community.
For example we have distributed £2,000 to community organisations via our community small grants programme (Good neighbourhood) for 110 people benefitting from small grants project activities gives a social value of £1,747 per person and an overall Social value impact equating to £202,659.
We also spent £1,500 on our annual Young Persons Achievers Conference 2015 - Improving Youth confidence that gave a social value per person £9,283 (20 people) equating to a total social value impact of£189,097.
The Association carries out a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey once every 3 years.  A full STAR survey was undertaken in 2015 with the results widely reported back to tenants.  We want to track our performance and our tenant’s perception of our service delivery.  Two key areas identified by tenants as being important to them is our repairs service and customer service.
We have therefore, commissioned a shorter survey that has taken place during the summer months of 2016, the survey will enable the Association to continue to understand our tenant’s perception of the service that we provide in the two key areas identified by tenants repairs and customer service.  We will analyse the results, set new targets to improve our service delivery and incorporate new targets into future action plans.  We have agreed shorter more frequent surveys to enable us to track our performance over a period of time and to enable us to review and adjust services where necessary in a more timely fashion.
We continue to hold bi-monthly tenants meetings, we also hold a variety of activities to enable tenants to connect with ourselves, and for us to have an on-going discussion with our tenants about service delivery, such as focus groups, coffee mornings, walk and talk, tenant’s inspectors and better use of social media.
As a result of tenant’s feedback and the need to ensure value for money a fundamental review of the delivery of the repairs and maintenance service is currently underway.  The Association has appointed RAND Associates to carry out an analysis of current costs and method of procurement and also a review of service delivery with a view to providing a much improved, efficient and cost effective service. RAND Associates will report to Board in October 2016.  The Board will then make a decision on the future delivery of our repairs and maintenance service.
The Association’s Board monitor’s a range of key quarterly performance indicators and reviews progress against pre agreed annual targets using a traffic light system.
We are also members of the Acuity Benchmarking group and are able to benchmark our services with similar size/peer organisations to further evidence how we deliver value for money.
The Association’s operating costs (excluding housing property depreciation and impairment) have reduced in real terms for the previous 3 years 2013, £848,101, 2014 £824,718, 2015 £834,783 with a marginal increase for the year ending 2016 to £865,484 due to increased investment in our stock. 
Our rent and service charge collection rates have improved year on year. Gross collected for 12/13 = £1,170,548, 13/14 = £1,229,174, 2014/15 = £1,267,487 and 15/16 £1,340,565 was collected.
SBHA operates appropriate quote and tendering procedures in line with our financial regulations and the Board of Management strictly monitors income and expenditure on a regular and timely basis to ensure the Association operates within the constraints of its approved annual budget. The Board of Management includes tenants, ensuring customer scrutiny at a key decision making level.
The Association recently updated its stock condition information producing an updated future stock reinvestment programme to facilitate the proactive delivery of larger programmes of work over a longer period. The procurement of larger works contracts will lead to greater economies of scale and improved value for money.
For example following a tender exercise the Association has invested over £120,000 in replacing 31 kitchens at Hector Peterson Court for the year 2013/14, £132,541 to replace and upgrade 31 Bathrooms in 14/15 and 15/16 replacement windows and doors programme totalling £142,717.
We have seen inflationary pressures on utility costs like the rest of the sector. As a result of carrying out a review of utility service providers we have entered into a fixed contract to reduce costs for our tenants.  We will monitor the savings over the forth coming months and feedback to our tenants the outcome.
In addition, the Association is also a member of North West Housing Services Limited (NWHS) procuring shared support services to efficiently and effectively deliver financial management and day to day maintenance services at a fixed cost and as a customer owned collaboration amongst small Registered Providers it also benefits from a share in the surplus generated by NWHS. NWHS was successful in securing the VAT Cost Sharing Exemption and has subsequently deregistered for Value Added Tax purposes.  This has facilitated increased surpluses attributable to members of NWHS and ensures increased value for money. SBHA received a rebate for the year 2015/16 of £5,605, adding to the previous rebates of £19k making a total of £24,604 for the past three years.
In other partnership working, the Association collaborates with both larger and smaller housing providers to share skills, expertise and joint training where appropriate to reduce the costs that would be incurred if working on a stand-alone basis.   For example in May 2016 as part of the Community Based Housing Association group we have signed a contract with the Brabners to provide us with enhanced services, training for staff and fixed/shared  costs for review of policies.  We are also working with them to look at internal and external audit provision.
Planning for the Future
SBHA has approved a new 5 year business plan 2017-22 together with a 5 year and a 30 year financial business plan.  We align the business plan with our annual budget and annual action plan to ensure that our resources are targeted at meeting our key objectives.
Our Asset Management Strategy is due to be reviewed this year, a stock condition survey has now been undertaken to enable the review of our Asset management Strategy to be undertaken and to ensure synergy with the review of our repairs and maintenance service.
The Association will:
·         Review our Asset Management Strategy
·         Capture Net Present Value of our property assets in a method that is commensurate with the size of the organisation
·         make a decision on the future delivery of our repairs service, and implement the decision
·         Review our tenant’s repairs and maintenance and customer service survey with any resulting actions to improve performance to be included in the association’s annual action plan.
·         Implement the change of service at our sheltered schemes following consultation
·         Review arrangements for internal audit and implement a programme of review
·         Develop and deliver employment and training programme for our customers to enable them to improve their skills and capacity therefore, increasing the employability and incomes of our tenant.
Meeting the Value for Money Standard – SBHA statement of compliance
A detailed value for money self-assessment can be found on our website by 30th September 2016:
SBHA is assured that through this self-assessment we are demonstrating how we meet the HCA’s Value for Money Standard by:
·         Developing our 5 year Business Plan through comprehensive planning process
·         Approving 30 year financial Business plan
·         Setting an annual budget that links with the objectives of the organisation
·         Setting annual performance targets that are monitored on a quarterly basis by Board
·         Participating in small providers bench marking club
·         Tenant scrutiny
·         Full financial management information provided to Board on a quarterly basis
·         Having a robust approach to risk management