Memo. KAB is a customer owned non profit manager of non profit housing associations.

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1 jny/ppa/has Contact information Peter Abbas Consultant T F bolig.dk KAB a customer owned non profit manager of housing associations This paper is intended to give our English speaking partners and other people with an interest in KAB a better insight into our organization, KAB s history and our role within the framework of the Danish nonprofit housing sector. If you wish to receive further information, please contact us by telephone , or by e mail bolig.dk. You can also visit our website bolig.dk. What is KAB? KAB is a customer owned non profit manager of non profit housing associations. As such we do not own any dwellings, estates or housing associations. We are organized as a company limited by guarantee. As such we do not have a share capital, but have members who are guarantors instead of shareholders. These guarantors consist almost only of housing associations managed by KAB. It is this organization that makes KAB a customer owned company. Our main areas of business are housing management, building management and the general supply of affordable housing in more than 22 municipalities in Greater Copenhagen. This is shown on the map. 1/10

2 Non profit housing in Denmark The Danish non profit social housing sector comprises dwellings or nearly 21 pct. of the total housing stock. A little less than Danes live in non profit housing. This reflects the underlying ideology that non profit social housing is intended for everyone regardless of income or social status. Dwellings are allocated via waiting lists on a first in line principle. However, municipalities can dispose of up to 25 pct. of vacant dwellings for social purposes thereby jumping the cew. The sector is subsidized through tax exemption and a financial acquisition combination of state subsidized loans (84 pct.), interest free loans from local governments (14 pct.) and a tenant contribution (2 pct). The rent is fixed according to the costs. This means that the rent is kept affordable by balancing it with the costs of the housing estates ordinary activities. The Ministry of Social Welfare is responsible for the central administration of the Danish social housing sector. The housing associations are supervised by the local authorities. The social housing sector is regulated by a very complicated and complex legislation. According to this legislation the housing associations primary objective is to build, lent, manage, sustain and modernize nonprofit housing. Activities outside these primary objectives require a ministerial dispensation. KAB is licensed by the Ministry of Social Welfare to manage non profit social housing. The Municipality of Copenhagen supervises our activities in accordance with the Social Housing Act. Tenants democracy A defining feature of the Danish social housing model is the principle of tenants democracy. The political organization of the tenants democracy is illustrated on the next page. The right of the tenants to participate in the decision making of the association is regulated by legislation. The tenants have extended rights to make decisions regarding all aspects of the estate in which they live. Furthermore, the tenants are represented at all levels of the housing association to which their estate belongs. 2/10

3 Tenants political organization EstateA Estate B Estate C Estate D Tenants Tenants Tenants Tenants Tenants Meeting Tenants Meeting Tenants Meeting Tenants Meeting Estate Board Estate Board Estate Board Estate Board Representative Assembly Local authority Supervision Association Board Housing Association A Others A housing associations political organization (shown as Housing Association A) is made up of a representative assembly, an association board and several estate boards, tenants meetings and the tenants in each estate. The estates have a wide autonomy and are economically independent both from each other and from the housing association. Tenants meetings, the estate board meetings and the referendum are the three basic fundaments of tenants democracy. Tenants have decisive influence in the planning phase of the annual estate budget. The tenants meeting also elects the estate board and the estates representatives. In regard to organizing and managing of the estate the political responsibility lies with the estate board. It also looks after the interests of the tenants, vis à vis the board of the housing association. The association board consists of an uneven number of members chosen among the tenants (or their spouses or other equals) from all estates in the housing association. Members with special insight can also be appointed to the association board by the representative assembly. A majority of the members of the board of the housing association must be tenants of estates belonging to the housing association, but in reality almost all board representatives are tenants. 3/10

4 The association board is responsible for the overall management of the housing association and the estates, i.e. the board is responsible for the operation etc. The board takes care of overall organizational matters such as management and building policy, investments, letting policy and closure of estates. Furthermore, the board must approve the accounts of each estate. They also supervise and monitor the housing association and their estate, approve the accounts. The representative assembly has the overall authority of the housing association. The assembly consists of members of the association board and representatives of each from the estates. They approve the annual budget of the housing association and decide in disputes between the board of the housing association, the board of the estate and the tenants meeting. Key facts on KAB KAB is the largest administrator of non profit affordable housing in Denmark with housing units exclusively in Greater Copenhagen. We manage approximately housing units divided between o 37 non profit social housing associations o 10 special non profit co operatives o 3 non profit students hostels o 8 other non profit housing associations/ housing organizations This makes a total of 58 independent non profit organizations with more than 310 estates. KAB does not own any of the housing units or estates. Instead we act as a partner to the local non profit housing associations who in turn own the units and buys KAB s services. KAB employees Managing a large number of housing units and estates regulated by complicated legislation requires competent and qualified employees. We have 300 highly skilled employees in our headquarters in central Copenhagen and 70 equally skilled employees placed locally through out greater Copenhagen. KAB supervises 700 caretakers employed locally by the housing associations. They deliver the day to day maintenance and servicing of the ten 4/10

5 ants. The caretakers are based on the local estate offices servicing one or a couple of estates situated close to one another. The three tier corporate governance of KAB KAB has a three tier corporate governance system the representative assembly, the supervisory board and the management board as shown in the illustration below. The three tier corporate governance of KAB Representative Assembly 19 board members 13 members elected by the tenants 2 appointed members with special insight 1 member elected by the guarantors 3 members elected by the employees Supervisory Board (non executive officers) 172 members Supervisory Board Tenants representatives elected from the housing associations Guests and guarantors Management Board (executive officers) The tenants democracy is an integral part of this three tier governance system. Both in the representative assembly and the supervisory board the tenants make up the majority. The overall political management of KAB is the representative assembly and has 172 members. The assembly meets twice a year primarily to approve the budget and to elect members for the supervisory board. The representative assembly consists of the supervisory board plus two representatives from each of the administrated non profit housing associations. The housing associations furthermore elect one additional member for each 500 rental units above units per estate. The supervisory board consists of 19 non executive members. The representative assembly elects 15 members. Two members are elected for their special interest and insight in areas, covered by the conventions of KAB. The other 13 elected must be tenants. 5/10

6 Furthermore one member is elected by the guarantors, whom today for more than 99 percent consists of the managed non profit housing associations, and 3 members are elected by and among the staff of KAB. The supervisory board meets 7 10 times a year and is the governing body mainly concerned with the general policy and the strategic and forward planning of KAB. It has the power to appoint the executive management. In doing so the supervisory board exercises control on behalf of the representative assembly. The management board consists of 5 executive officers and is headed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The 4 other executive officers are; head of the Resource Function, head of the Customer Function, head of the Building Function and head of the Coordination Office. The management board meets on a fortnightly basis. They are responsible of the day to day running of the company i.e. planning, organizing, resourcing, leading and directing the organization. The management board s office assists with the secretariat servicing of the representative assembly, the supervisory board and the management board. KAB s business organization KAB s business organization is shown below. 6/10

7 The daily management is carried out by the CEO. He is responsible for the day to day general management of KAB including the strategic positioning, overall priorities, and the servicing of the representative assembly and supervisory board and external networking. KAB s activities are divided into 3 general functions; the Customer Function, the Building Function and the Resource Function. The Customer Function provides customer services to tenants, housing applicants but also services to the housing associations and the housing estates. This entails secretariat assistance to the associations boards and estate boards, letting of units, rent management, updating waiting lists, management of finance and staff, management of rolling 10 years maintenance plan, initiation of renewal and maintenance. The function is subdivided into 5 sections; Management Section A, Management Section B, Management Section C, Management Section D and the Tenant s Service Section. The Building Function provides managerial supervision services in regards to planning, construction, regeneration and renewal and services regarding resource management of water, electricity and heating. The function is subdivided into 3 sections; Building Project Section, Building Support Section, and the Energy Section. The Resource Function primarily provides internal services to the organisation such as it services, finance, HR management. Services such as training and education services, it services, communication, web and legal services are also offered to customers. The Resource Function is subdivided into 7 sections; Internal Services Section, Finance Section, HR Section, Communications Section, Legal Section, Training & Education Section and the It Section. Service concept With KAB s extensive experience in managing non profit social housing we focus on giving the best possible service to our customers i.e. the housing associations, housing estates, tenants and housing applicants. We manage estates professionally, rationally and with respect for the tenants decisions regarding the level of service they want. We wish to give our customers the large scale benefits of a central administration, without loosing their self determination. In short we offer individual solutions within a common framework. This is done by offering our customers a variety of service packages. These are divided into a concept with basis, plus or full packages and a 7/10

8 concept with pink and blue services. Each package contains different levels and combinations of management services. These packages can be supplemented with a wide range of services that can be tailor made to suit the housing associations and housing estates special needs and wishes. All in all these concepts ensures a holistic approach to the needs of the housing estates and the social and economic sustainable management of these estates. Apart from the hard service concepts we also specialize in servicing the housing associations political organization. We have an advisory role and we implement the political decisions made by the different political levels in the housing associations. This role is illustrated below. The Balance between Management and Estate Board To manage To implement Decision making Policy making Manager Estate Board The balance between KAB and the Estate Board is essentially a balance between management and implementation on one hand and decision making and policy making on the other. This balance is represented by the see saw. KAB s pledge, mission and values Our service concept and our way of doing things reflect the way we perceive our mission and company values. We have made a pledge to; provide better housing for everyone or in Danish bedre boliger for alle. This entails an effort to build and create 8/10

9 socially and physically attractive neighborhoods for people who choose to live in a KAB managed flat, estate and housing association. Our mission is to create the framework for a good life i.e. provide affordable housing where people can have a full and rich housing career from cradle to grave so to speak. We want to achieve this pledge and mission by acting responsibly towards our customers, by having an open and transparent organization, by be being open to change and to be innovative and by having an open and constructive dialogue with our customers. As a result we have organized our service concept and build our company philosophy on the following four values: o Responsibility o Transparency o Innovation o Dialogue The history of KAB KAB is a new company with old customer relations. 1 st of January 2007 the merger between AKB and KAB became a reality. After one year of thorough preparation the time had finally come to realize one of the largest mergers between two non profit housing administrators in Denmark. AKB was founded in 1913 by the labour movement as part of the corporation. The purpose of AKB at that time was to provide safe, sanitary, non profit and affordable housing for its members and also to provide work for workers in the building industry. KAB on the other hand was founded in 1920 by altruistic conservatives concerned with the working class appalling living conditions in Copenhagen. In terms of numbers of non profit housing estates the golden age in the 1950 ties and 1960 ties resulted in a growth in both AKB and KAB housing estates through out Greater Copenhagen. With the expansion of the Danish welfare state in the 1960 ties and 70 ties the companies lost there affiliation to both the labor movement and the conservatives. 9/10

10 At the time of the merger AKB had rental units while KAB had units. In 2005 the idea of a merger between the two companies where presented to the respective representative assemblies and approved. The idea behind this merger was to bring the best qualities of both companies together thereby strengthening the combined competitiveness. In addition synergies and large scale benefits could be attained and so keeping the overall price structure fixed throughout the years 2007 to The merger was also a response to changing market conditions. In 2007 The Ministry of the Interior implemented a large structural reform of local government reducing the number of municipalities from 271 to 98. This changed the administrative geography in which we operate. We have also observed a change in customer demand from a more general and homogenous service to more price competitive and individualized services. This requires both flexibility from our organization and a new approach towards the management of social housing in general. The merger was successfully implemented in 2007 and it has left KAB in a unique position. We have a robust economy, low prices, a high competitiveness and a variety of affordable service products. In short KAB is ready to face the future challenges and demands that will meet the non profit social housing sector in Denmark in the coming years. Jesper Nygård Chief Executive Officer 10/10

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