As housing associations tackle rising construction and maintenance costs alongside decreasing budgets
and increasing customer demands, Phil Webster, strategic director at Equity Housing Group, explains
why collaboration with like-minded partners makes sense in the social housing sector.
Collaboration within the social housing
sector can provide a wealth of tangible
benefits, which not only generate a
better service for customers but also offer
better value for money than attempting to offer the
same levels of service alone.
Equity Housing Group recently collaborated
with another housing association, on a
maintenance and repairs contract, following a
number of workshops where customers of both
housing providers requested further investment
in the respective repairs services available. As a
result, these customers now benefit from reduced
lead times for repairs, and first-time-fixes, where
possible, for any issues that may arise.
Collaborating with like-minded partners can
enhance levels of service through skill-sharing and
the adoption of new and often improved methods
of working. By sharing ideas and techniques, more
cost-effective and efficient options can be found
and with further budget cuts possible, this is
Collaboration between providers can also lead
to the widening of business objectives to ensure
all customers within a catchment area are truly
understood and taken care of, making considered
progression in all areas. It can also provide an
insight into alternative business strategies. Working
with providers that excel in different areas to your
company can be a fantastic way of driving projects
forward. Rather than up-skilling team members,
or hiring new ones to fill a gap, which requires
significant investment, instigating a partnership can
save thousands of pounds and hours of manpower
that can be better utilised elsewhere.
While there are many benefits of collaboration
within the social housing sector, it can often be
difficult to decide who to partner with and what
qualities they should have.
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residents, all parties involved must adopt a policy
of total truth and transparency. Without this, the
partnership will fail.
In terms of logistics and meeting legal
requirements, it is important to partner with
companies that can adapt to one another’s existing
frameworks. Whether it is making sure maintenance
providers are Gas Safe Registered, or that a
marketing agency is GDPR-proofed, simple checks
can prevent huge problems later down the line.
The future of social housing lies in
collaboration between like-minded partners, so it
is your duty to ensure anyone working in one of
your properties meets the standards you would
expect from your own team.
Firstly, it is critical that any company you intend
to collaborate with shares the same values as you.
Social housing is an industry with people at the
heart of it, so shared values and ethics are critical
to success. In order to provide the best service to
your customers, all parties must understand that
customers come first.
For the people that live in social housing
properties, timely and effective maintenance is key
to them feeling comfortable within their homes,
so we suggest looking for a partner that will go
above and beyond the expected to provide the
best service possible to residents.
In order to maintain these relationships and
continue to provide the superior level of service to
provide a wealth of