Langstane Housing Association was delighted with the depth of analysis recently undertaken by Housemark’s experienced consultancy team, as part of a Strategic Stock and Development Review.

The Association commissioned Housemark’s experienced consultancy team to independently review whether or not, given the wider economic and geo-political environment as well as current and projected stock and financial performance, the Association should resume development activities, and if is so, when would be the optimum time. Hear from Helen Gauld, Chief Executive, of Langstane Housing Association.

How long have you been involved with Housemark and what made you choose their consultancy service?

Langstane Housing joined Housemark for benchmarking purposes a couple of years ago as we wanted to drill down to really understand our cost structure and performance.  However, it was after speaking with a former colleague who was delighted with a piece of consultancy work Housemark had carried out for them, that I gave Kirsty Wells, Director of Consultancy and Partnerships, a call.

We had approached others to tender but the unique experience and knowledge Housemark could bring to the table was invaluable.

What did Housemark give you that you wouldn’t have been able to produce yourself?

The depth of review undertaken was significant.  Performance data and financial projections were collated, cross referenced, challenged, and then brought together to form an independent opinion that was ratified after Housemark met with local authority representatives.   Trend data was used as was sensitivity testing to ensure short, medium and longer term recommendations allowed informed decisions to be made.  We simply did not have the capacity to free up people within Langstane to carry out this major piece of work.

What did the Strategic Stock and Development Review provide?

The report was extremely thorough as was the presentation.  We felt Housemark really did understand Langstane’s desire to deliver for everyone involved with the Association, and make the right choice.  The report itself was clear on what conditions need to be in place when the Association returns to development to give the Association and its tenants comfort Langstane can continue to meet any challenges that come its way.

The report allowed our Board to make an informed decision when considering Langstane’s future direction.

“We knew returning to development activities was something we wanted to achieve but not at any cost.  Improving our existing homes and services are equally important priorities for us.  However, working alongside Housemark and in particular their consultant, Jim Rooney, allowed us to take a step back and provided a great deal of clarity for us.  At a time when there are so many pressures on housing associations, it is important for us to have longer-term certainty about what we want to achieve in the future, in the short, medium and longer term”.

Access the case study here or find out more about Housemark consultancy.