Smaller housing providers now have the opportunity to be part of what is fast becoming a national performance benchmarking network for smaller housing providers.
Things have really moved on since our last newsletter (November 2009) in which we reported on our work with two benchmarking groups for smaller housing associations. More than 30 other organisations have joined what we now call spbm (www.spbm.co.uk). bringing the number of members to 50. We are expecting more to join in the near future.
Effectively what we are seeing is the emergence of network of benchmarking clubs with their own identities and direction of travel connected through a common set of performance indicators, our web-based technology and facilitated discussion. Don’t get us wrong. We do quite a lot to support this community but it is the self-directed element that seems to make it really work.
By way of an example, a number of our London-based members have recently formed a working group to get to grips with the TSA’s requirements for resident reporting, scrutiny and local offers. With our support, that group will learn from each other, develop good practice with smaller housing providers specifically in mind and share the results of their work with everyone in spbm. Expect more from us on good practice and national annual performance reporting for smaller associations later in the year.
We have also been struck recently by the numbers of very specialist smaller housing providers asking whether we can link them up with similar organisations. As the number of spbm members grows, so does our confidence that in addition to access to common set of performance indicators we will be able to meet these organisations’ specific learning needs. This will happen because those organisations want it to happen and because we can play the enabling role.
Making Voices Count
We have recently completed a review of tenant involvement and empowerment on behalf of the TSA and in partnership with HouseMark.
The review (published as ‘Making Voices Count’) highlights a cultural shift in the way landlords are engaging with their tenants and the growing appreciation of the business case for using tenants’ views to shape services.
Broadly the review suggests a ‘good news’ story on tenant involvement within a context of significant challenges and uncertainties about the way ahead.
Peter Marsh, in his foreword to the report, says of the review, “We hope it will play an important role in delivering the new co-regulatory deal based on a deep and meaningful engagement with tenants from the doorstep to the boardroom”.
You can obtain a copy of Making Voices Count from our website.