North London Muslim Housing Association

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1 North London Muslim Housing Association Value for Money Self-Assessment Value for Money The Association remains committed to providing services that represent Value for Money for our residents and to delivering continuous improvement in the quality and range of homes and services. The efficient management of resources continues to be one of our highest priorities in order to meet this challenge. Our corporate objective Maintaining our financial robustness including VfM has value for money at its core and will provide a framework for the effective management of key resources and drive continual improvement in services. Resident input was central to our strategies and all service deliveries are regularly reviewed in light of residents feedback. This Value for Money review (VfM) contains sections which set out our overall approach to delivering value for money, including overviews on our decision making framework, our monitoring and assurance processes and our asset management. The review then goes on to demonstrate some of the key achievements implemented this year under each of our strategic objectives before summarising some of our value for money plans targeted for the future. Decision making framework Effective decision making allows resources to be properly allocated and supports the delivery of VfM. Knowing the impacts of decisions whether they be improved services or cost reductions allows priorities to be set and agreement to be reached. We are evaluating the association s decision making process continually so that it is aligned with the association s corporate objectives, to meet our residents expectations. Elements include: An established framework of policies and strategies, which are aligned with corporate objectives and provide a consistent basis to developing continuous improvement plans. Independent customer satisfaction feedback coupled with resident involvement and scrutiny which allows customer views to be regularly considered in setting improvement plans. This is aligned with our corporate goal Will provide excellent customer service and will measure achievements through annual satisfaction survey An annual budget and business plan approved by the Board in which resource requirements are identified and prioritised effectively.

2 The establishment of a rolling corporate plan, that is aligned with the association s objectives. The approval at Senior Management and Board level of significant new projects and initiatives ensuring that their VfM impact is considered. The setting of targets for Key Performance Indicators (KPI) annually for a three year period with reference to actual performance and benchmarking information. Monitoring and assurance Understanding and monitoring performance allows the association to be aware of progress and to implement corrective action should variances be identified. Our performance management and scrutiny functions should be effective at driving and delivering improved Value for Money performance. The company has several processes in place for monitoring VfM performance, for understanding the costs of delivering specific services and to provide assurance to Board on VfM delivery which include: Benchmarking of the association s performance against other similar sized registered providers. Skillsprojects which is a subsidiary of Housemark coordinate this benchmarking group. The association s performances are always on the upper quartile. Senior management discuss on performance against the targeted KPI on monthly basis, with a quarterly update to Board. Regular scrutiny of services through the Tenant Scrutiny Panel. Detailed monthly management reporting that highlights financial performance to budget. Reporting annually to Board of the association s Value for Money performance. Asset management The association owns 704 homes which are let to people in housing need. In addition the association has 4 Intermediate rent homes and 6 shared ownership properties. The association also manages 46 leaseholders on three different site. We are the freeholder of Finsbury Grange scheme and Paradigm has 23 shared ownership properties on this site. We manage the communal areas and communal heat centre which supplies hot water and heating to the properties.

3 Investing in the housing stock is a fundamental part of our business as it not only ensures that we have quality homes available to rent but it maintains the value of the assets against which finance may be raised to build new homes. We ensure that our homes are fit for purpose and are ones in which our current and future tenants want to live. It is focused on maintaining homes to an agreed standard, improving our neighbourhoods and the provision of an effective repairs service. Our Corporate goal Will manage association s resources effectively and will ensure security of assets permits effective targeting of resources to where they can have the greatest impact in raising standards and delivering value for money. A comprehensive stock condition database is maintained, from which programmes for investment through cyclical and major repairs are developed. New developments are subject to a review of their projected financial performance prior to their approval, in accordance with a Board approved procedure which has been reviewed by the Board recently. Performance and Achievements The association uses House mark data to benchmark its performance against other similar sized housing associations in London. The benchmarking data allows a comparison of key performance indicators in terms of cost and performance. The association s performance in 2013/14 on some of the relevant VfM measures is summarised in the table below and is compared to prior year results. Key Performance Indicators Actual Actual Actual Percentage of tenants satisfied with the 76% 91% 93% overall service Percentage of tenants who are satisfied with the services provided represent 80% 86% 91% Value for Money Percentage of tenants satisfied with the overall service on repairs 79% 79% 84% Percentage of tenants satisfied with keeping tenants informed 85% 88% 90% Percentage of tenants satisfied with the overall condition of the property 84% 89% 90% Percentage of tenants satisfied with the general enquires 81% 94% 95% There has been a general improvement in performance in almost all areas Rent collected as percentage of rent due 99.64% 99.9% 98.95%

4 Current Rent Arrears 4.22% 4.07% 4.84% Average time taken to re let property 2.84 weeks 1.6 weeks 6.5 weeks Average cost per void 3,181 3,507 4,325 Rent loss through properties becoming 0.53% 0.4% 1.16% empty Percentage complaints answered in target 100% 100% 100% Stage 2 complaints as a % of Stage 1 0% 0% 0% Percentage of Repairs completed in target A) Emergency 100% 100% 97% B ) Urgent 97.72% 97.8% 92% C ) Routine 98.82% 100% 96% Percentage of properties with valid CP12 gas certificate 99% 97% 100% There have been numerous VfM achievements in the year and these reflect a combination, in varying degrees, of service improvement, social impact and cost reduction. The following sections highlight some of the performance and key achievements under each of the strategic objective headings. Taking Pride in Our Services Customer satisfaction and in particular meeting customer expectations is a key requisite of Value for Money. Realistic expectations need to be mutually set, fully communicated and then delivered. Our customer satisfaction surveys cover a range of aspects of service. Overall satisfaction of services from NLMHA has gone up from 91% to 93%. We are continually working hard to maintain excellent front line services. The current economic climate has a detrimental impact on household budgets with costs generally increasing faster than income. Even though 86 % are satisfied with the value for money offered by their rent, compared to 80% in the previous year. We have created two dedicated post for customer services officers as the key point of contact for our residents and this had a positive impact on resident satisfaction. Some of the other initiatives undertaken this year that focused on improving our service levels are summarised below. Our customers have been involved in the management of communal areas in their schemes, which will form the basis of our ongoing performance standards.

5 The association continues to develop its welfare advice and offers regular updates on the impact of the Welfare Reform Act to support our residents in preparation for this change. All cleaning contracts have been reviewed during awarded to start in April Resident involvement was maintained throughout this review. As a result residents are receiving improved services from our contractors. Providing Quality Affordable Homes & Services The association wants to ensure that its homes are of the right type, in the right location, are affordable, energy efficient and are healthy, safe places to live. To achieve this, our investment programmes must be well considered to meet potential future changes in demographics, demand for our homes and the aspirations of our customers. A survey of our residents introduced this year confirms that at the end of March % of our residents are satisfied with the overall quality of their home which is above the median position for our peer group. Our residents tell us that responsive repairs and maintenance is a priority service. 84% of our residents are satisfied with the overall maintenance service. This has increased from 79% from the previous year. The survey results show that residents are satisfied with the way the company manages the repairs service which is above the median position of our peer group. The association continues to invest heavily in all areas of this service in order to improve performance and to increase the number of repairs we are able to complete at the first visit. Our performance for the year was 92.4% completed first time, compared to the previous year s performance of 92.1%, which increases our service level and our efficiency. The association continues to invest significantly in property improvements to ensure the long term sustainability of its assets, and maintained 100% compliance with the Decent Homes Standard. The association remains committed to providing new affordable homes and worked on 2 schemes during 2013/14 to develop 31 new homes. Units will be completed and handed over by March Investing in Our Neighbourhoods & Communities Many of the association s improvements do not offer clearly measurable financial gains but contribute significantly to the overall wellbeing of the local community. This Social Value is an important element in our Value for Money delivery. Research into formal calculation methods of social value continue but the association is keen to balance the cost and benefits of such methods and will continue to seek an efficient mechanism to determine social value. As such, investments that add social value still tend to be supported by an outline of the benefits that will arise.

6 Investment is made in local communities through the Residents Wellbeing Funds, totalling 30,000. Focus this year has been on creating community spirit in our estate based properties by engaging youths and children. Estate walkabouts with residents enable monitoring of improvements and highlighting of future investment opportunities. Our resident surveys confirm that 91% are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live; this maintains the strong performance from previous years and remains in the upper quartile for similar organisations. The following is a selection of further improvements delivered by the association during 2013/14 which demonstrate the Value for Money impacts linked to our objective Investing in our Neighbourhoods and Communities. Carried out universal credit and welfare reform workshops across our area of operation to empower residents on their financial issues. Worked with residents and Oldford Housing on a new development, St Andrews, and set up a Residents Association. Arranged summer play schemes at Truman Walk estate for young residents to set up youth groups. Carried out community engagement events at Marconi Road Estate. Promoted community cohesion by engaging young residents to nurture ownership of their estate and become good neighbours. Worked with 20 families to be involved in half term activities for young residents. Worked with Sebright Centre to promote healthy lifestyle and Yoga for Women s groups. Worked in partnership with St Peters Community Centre to facilitate and promote gardening projects. Worked in partnership with North London Muslim Community Centre to engage hard to reach groups through baking competition. Local employment and training opportunities continue to be supported by the association s trainee scheme. There was one trainee during financial year Positively Engaging with Our Residents Engagement with our residents has continued to develop with satisfaction continuing to be over 90% for all surveys completed. This remains in the upper quartile for similar organisations. Our residents are playing an active part to help drive service improvements, increase efficiency and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Our Tenant Board Member has the role of Resident Involvement Champion. The Tenant Scrutiny Panel continues to work with the association and provides a review and challenge to the manner in which services are provided.

7 Corporate Culture The Being a Great Employer Corporate objective is aligned with our vision and values. It focuses on the evolution of a culture where employees feel supported, empowered and trusted and who are motivated to deliver their best and therefore add value to the organisation. We are working to ensure that our culture encourages the input of new ideas, is open to change and cultivates an inherent awareness of Value for Money concepts. In addition Value for Money awareness sessions have been held for all the senior managers and are now being delivered throughout the association. Annual Residents satisfaction survey on Value for Money reveals that 86 % are satisfied with the value for money offered by their rent, compared to 80% in the previous year. Effectively Managing the Business Our strategic goal Will conduct our business to the highest standards recognises that Value for Money is achieved when the agreed services are delivered in the most cost effective way. Initiatives introduced this year include: Best ever surplus 1.8m 20% more compare to previous financial year and this is being invested in developing new homes. Despite an increase in Turnover from 5m in to 5.4m in , our operational cost was increased by only 2%. A huge achievement in VfM. Income from interest also increased from 4k to 25k during We have managed our Asset and Finance well, protecting our capital and finding the best rate possible for our deposits. We keep the number of staff at optimal level, right people in right places with right training. Our service delivery was excellent and staff dealt efficiently with the 99 new units which were received during Bulk of the handover took place on 12 th March We have introduced new channels of collecting rents during Our residents now have more choice and options to pay their rent. Interest Cost we have taken advantage of historical low interest rate. Planned maintenance: Tendering out Kitchen replacements with a fixed cost from suppliers Bench Marks to all NLMHA approved contractors has reduced kitchen costs by 30% during , average kitchen cost 2,100. Boiler Replacements: Receiving good value on replacement boilers cost have been maintained at present values since Average Boiler installation 2100.

8 Lift maintenance Contracts: We have reduced the cost of the lift maintenance contracts significantly during We have reviewed our contracts and have saved 4k in costs during , and still maintained service delivery towards maintenance and repairs. Cyclical: We have come on budget with great service delivery in terms of quality and project management. Our maintenance team was focused on VfM during preparing of the documents and selecting the contractors. We have received the most competitive price on Cyclical maintenance during our recent tender exercise on Cyclical maintenance. Responsive Maintenance: We are achieving value for money in line with inflation and labour costs with minimum call outs at Consideration of how to use technology to best effect. Areas developed this year include the use of the introduction of a document management system, it helped to reduce the use of paper in the business. Another initiative we took last year is to upgrade all communal lighting in our estate based properties, with new technology available. We have fitted new energy saving lights to the communal areas in Gujarat House on PIR sensors. We anticipate to reduce the lighting bills significantly. We have identified other communal areas where this will be rolled out too during Future Value for Money plans A stock appraisal model will be develop which will assess the financial performance of each individual property in the context of our future maintenance and improvement programmes. The model will calculate performance using a net present value methodology and allow ranking of assets in terms of their financial return. Investment in new properties will continue with the association planning over 51 new units by March 2016 all within the GLA and Homes and Communities Agency s Affordable Homes Programmes. We will also develop 24 Affordable rental units and 10 Shared units under 2015/18 programme through our development consortium North River Alliance (NRA) A review is underway on the voids process and later the approach will be considered across further services and processes. The key objectives of the review are to reduce the voids rent loss, to reduce the re-let time for void properties, to reduce the number of voids and to increase customer satisfaction. The association will continue its trainee programme as part of our commitment to invest on young people from the community. There will be opportunities for new people during the year following the completion of existing placements.

9 The association is pro actively working with other RP s from London BME group on joint trainings to achieve VfM. Enhanced VfM performance will deliver improvements to the association financially, to its residents in quality of service and provide additional funding capacity for new developments and initiatives. The Board will continue to focus on improving Value for Money throughout the association s operations. Feedback from resident surveys, resident groups and the Tenant Scrutiny Panel together with performance monitoring, benchmarking and review will provide assurance and inform future improvement plans.

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