The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has published a summary of the risks that it will focus on in its next annual risk assessment – with a key area being on the resilience of landlords.
Other areas of focus will be homelessness, performance, the quality of homes, social landlords’ plans to develop new, affordable housing and the financial health and governance in registered social landlords (RSLs).
This means that your organisation’s performance is under the spotlight. Housemark can help you to gain clarity on how different areas of your business are performing and provide solutions to help you focus on the different SHR risk assessment areas.
The SHR understands that the pandemic has been a difficult time for landlords, stating:
“Social landlords have faced unprecedented challenges over the past 18 months and have been at the forefront of efforts to support their tenants in such difficult times. It is likely that the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt by social landlords for some time. And they will continue to face other challenges as they work to build back the services they provide for tenants and meet wider challenges around for example climate change and the development of affordable new homes.”
Housemark’s COVID-19 impact data has helped landlords to navigate through the pandemic, with hot off the press insights to make the right on time decisions. Our Monthly Pulse reports enable landlords to make comparisons with their peers and keep you in the know with how well you are performing against the sector, providing you with the opportunity for continuous improvement. As the landscape has changed so quickly since the start of the pandemic, annual comparisons aren’t as effective as monthly on time insights.
SHR has stated that they will consider “whether landlords have good quality, up-to-date information about the quality of their existing homes and future survey plans and how this is reflected in their business plans and financial projections.”
It’s never been more important to ensure that you have robust, good quality data. Yet, a recent Housemark survey found that 96% of landlords think there are issues around data quality. Do a data quality audit, identify where there may be concerns within your business and uncover these so that you can make changes and be confident in the data you have.
Good data quality use starts from the top, so ensure that everyone has buy-in across the business on the power of data to make their area resilient. Housemark can provide you with the data you need in a clear way that makes a difference.
SHR has also said “Landlords also need to consider an increasing range of factors when deciding rent increases for tenants. Landlords need to critically question whether they have done everything possible to be efficient and drive costs from their business, before passing costs onto tenants and service users.’
Housemark’s data and consultancy services can help you to understand your costs and how to make your business operations as efficient as possible. Through our Monthly Pulse and Quarterly Forecast reports, we will show you information on business costs within different areas and how this compares against other social housing organisations. We also provide annual performance summaries and tailored feedback reports – if you want to take a deeper look into a certain business area.
Our consultancy can also give you the support needed to make any changes in business areas that have been identified through the reports. From income management to finance functions, housing management to customer services, we work together to reveal what’s driving current performance so you can make a difference for your customers, your people, and your business.
Another area of focus for the SHR within financial health is “Rent levels and the impact of Universal Credit changes: we measure the impact and potential impact of changes in the welfare system by considering the trends in voids, bad debts, arrears and rent increases”
You can always stay in the know too with welfare reform policy changes through our Welfare Reform Club and how this can impact on your tenants, so you can seek to act when needed to prevent potential issues such as voids and arrears.
To meet the risk assessments as outlined by the SHR, there is a need for good quality data to inform decisions at a leadership and governance level. There is increasing pressure going forward for organisations to be resilient from a financial and governance perspective and Housemark data could help you to understand your resilience as an organisation to also meet the demands of the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040.
Ultimately, good data strategies lead to better decision making and therefore better resilience, governance, and performance. To find out more about how we can help you with your data strategy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.