[Blog] How you can get ready for the HCA’s newly strengthened approach to VfM and Efficiency

Blog - Modern Desk

The HCA have announced a tougher approach to VfM as two new reports focus on efficiency in the housing sector.

The reports highlight unexplained cost variations for organisations in the sector and provide an informed and useful picture of efficiency.

Landlords found to have high operating costs will now have to answer questions from the HCA. The regulator will ask boards how they ensure efficiency and check that resources are used in a cost-effective way.

The first report, which was prepared by HouseMark for the National Housing Federation, provides an in-depth look at the industry and its work to cut costs whilst improving services.

The second was published by the HCA and provided analysis of the difference in operating costs between the 350 largest housing associations. The report found no clear link between the size of an organisation and lower running costs.

Both reports are published at a time of unprecedented merger activity in the sector, with organisations looking to combine operations and cultures to improve efficiency.

Among the key findings of both reports were:

  • Overheads as a percentage of turnover have reduced from 13.6% to 11.8% between 2008/09 and 2014/15
  • Repair costs decreased by 12.1%, and repair times have slightly declined
  • Housing management costs have decreased by 0.6%
  • 50% of organisations’ differences in costs can be left unexplained (due to differences in efficiency)
  • The costs per unit have fallen slightly to £3,550 over five years.

How Service Matters can help…

As a division of Orbit Group, Service Matters has been supporting housing organisations to deliver efficiency through the provision of professional services for over a decade.

When working with housing organisations we often find open goals for efficiency savings in areas such as repairs, voids, lettings, finance, procurement and insurance.

Our work has helped housing organisations to maximise their resource whilst improving their culture and investing in providing quality homes and front line services.

We have also worked with newly formed organisations to integrate cultures after a merger.

Try us for free with a business health check

Don’t just take our word for it, claim a free business health check. Our team of trusted advisors can provide you with ideas for improving efficiency within your organisation – for free. The offer is equivalent to a free consultancy day and provides a great opportunity to discover how you can improve efficiency in time for the HCA’s tougher approach to VfM.

There's no commitment or obligation, just a great opportunity to discover Service Matters and get great trusted advice.


"Service Matters helped us to reduce our relet times by up to 56%. They also generated £9,877 in cashable savings in the first 12 weeks, making the review cost neutral." ISOS Housing