Housemark has today (Friday, 12 November) launched the social housing sector’s first suite of comparable building safety metrics in response to sector demand. The measures have been developed as part of a specialist research group of more than 200 social landlords and sector experts including Building a safer future, the Chartered Institute of Housing, G15, Electrical Safety First and the National Federation of ALMOs. The suite of eight safety compliance measures specifically designed for social housing, cover gas, electrics, fire, asbestos, water and lifts.

Headline findings, shared in an executive summary published today, include:

-Compliance is high across the sector but the underlying data often requires human intervention to make calculations, increasing the risk of data accuracy.

-Safety specialists and governing bodies are looking for comparable safety metrics to support assurance.

-Landlords use an average of five different IT systems to monitor building safety, only 1 in 8 use a single system, this complexity creates inefficiency and data quality challenges.

– Most landlords are using existing lines of communication to inform residents about building safety. Few reported proactive conversations with residents – 39% said they had raised awareness through personal visits and only 1 in 4 reported formal discussions with resident representatives about safety, highlighting this critical issue for the sector.

Talking about the new measures, Housemark Chief Executive Laurice Ponting said:

Nothing is more important than the safety of residents and historically we have seen that what gets measured gets managed. As the leading data and insight company for the UK housing sector, Housemark has worked with customers and other sector leaders in this crucial area, to provide the support and guidance proactive providers want.

Using existing regulation and sector expertise, we have created a standardised way to monitor and measure building safety and eight new measures will be available in April 2022 for our customers to make like-for-like comparisons. This will put their performance in context to understand where they are now and where they need to drive improvements.  Our research has also highlighted sector trends and barriers to tackling this key priority, enabling customers to use insight to make evidence-based decisions.

Access the executive summary here.

The full research report is available exclusively to participating organisations. Contact to find out more about Housemark’s data and research programme.