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Value for Money Annual Report 2014/2015

‘Making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities’

Axiom Housing Group Axiom Housing Association Limited Axiom Crossroads Care

committed  caring

creative


Contents Section

Page No.

1

Introduction from the Chair: David Fowler

3

2

Self-assessment summary

6

3

Value for Money Service Reviews

9

Responsive Repairs and Void Works

10

Rent Arrears and Collection

12

Anti-social behaviour

14

Major Works and Cyclical Maintenance

16

Lettings

18

Tenancy Management

20

Resident Involvement

22

Estate Services

24

Supported Housing and other support services

26

4

Overheads and Operating Efficiency

28

5

Delivering and measuring Social Value

31

6

Return on Assets

32

7

Acquisition and development of new homes

35

8

Our embedded approach to Value for Money improvements

36

Appendix 1: cost and efficiencies analysis 2014/15 to 2015/16

37


1) Introduction from the Chair David Fowler Axiom continues to develop and refine its approach to attaining and reporting Value for Money, and this year’s report reflects our progress in both areas. With regard to attainment, I am pleased to be able to report that we achieved and exceeded our VFM targets as set out in last year’s report, returning a total gain of £627,000 compared to a target of £573,000.

David Fowler Chair

Our work on understanding and evaluating the Social Value of our work continues and we have now published our first Social Value report, in collaboration with Peterborough City Council, demonstrating that every £1 spent on our academy training and developing young people contributes £8 in benefits downstream.

The operating margin of the association, a key performance measure of overall effectiveness for our teams, also improved from 23.8% to 24.4%. In addition: 82% of tenants believe their rent provides Value for Money.

Areas for improvement next year are our customer satisfaction in addressing anti-social behaviour and the cost per property of housing management services, both of which are well in hand and should be reflected in next year’s report.

74% of tenants believe their service charge provides Value for Money. I am particularly gratified with the continuing efficiency and effectiveness of our customer facing services and in particular our repairs and maintenance services, retaining their top quartile rating along with our current rent arrears collection performance.

As an organisation with a significant proportion of supported housing and, increasingly, care services as part of its turnover, we are particularly mindful of the relationship between overheads and turnover.

This year’s report also demonstrates our progress in measuring and understanding the value of our assets. In 2013-14 we reported upon our approach for monitoring the returns delivered across our housing stock by asset type and location. This year we are now able to report on the value of our assets and analyse them by residents’ satisfaction, stock turnover and thermal efficiency. During 2014-15 we have seen an improvement in overall returns increasing from 10.7% to 11.4%.

As a Board we have accepted that our relative performance in this area may decline in the next two years as our care service expands, adding significantly to turnover, but also diluting our group operating margin.

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Our Value for Money priorities for 2015/16 Throughout this report we adjusted our projections of returns and income following the Government’s July budget and the proposed rent cut of 1% for the next four years. In practice, the cut will reduce our planned income by 16% from 2016–2020. Achieving and maintaining Value for Money (VFM) is a key objective for the association and it is a feature of our 2015-2020 corporate strategy. We have begun reviewing our VFM priorities following the July budget and our strategic response is set out below:

To remain STRONG & SUCCESSFUL We believe there is strength and benefit to residents and stakeholders in maintaining a strong, independent, diverse, values-driven housing association.

To provide VALUE FOR MONEY and SOCIAL VALUE We will maintain our commitment to providing outstanding services and continuous improvement at affordable cost to our residents, delivering VFM and providing Social Value.

To remain a strong and successful organisation, Axiom must be financially viable and be able to provide assurance to regulators, funders and partners. With this objective we have prioritised the following financial objectives:

Axiom has always been able to demonstrate VFM in the context of peer benchmarking and Social Value contribution, the new financial environment will require us to deliver further economies in our activities in the future and will prompt a review on the range of Social Value activities we undertake.

We will ensure all loan covenants to be complied with are monitored and reported quarterly. We will strengthen our balance sheet with regular reviews of the value and efficiency of our assets.

Whilst making savings in operating costs will be an emphasis within our plans, we propose to establish an ‘invest to save’ programme to identify further efficiencies by working in collaboration with others such as shared services, or by reinvesting in areas of activity that will deliver enhance productivity.

We will review our treasury policy of fixed rate costs as a proportion of total borrowing. Investment in robust technology infrastructure is well advanced and remains a key efficiency commitment, but must be balanced with a need to reduce central overheads.

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Our Value for Money priorities for 2015/16

continued

To BUILD on our STRENGTHS

To WORK TOGETHER

We will maintain our commitment to building on our strengths and partnerships. We will not develop and grow at all costs, but grow organically, moving into services and areas where appropriate. We will continue to develop a balanced portfolio of general needs and supported accommodation.

We will remain an inclusive organisation, putting our residents, service users and customers at the centre of what we do to ensure they have real influence on our services. We are also committed to being an exemplar employer. Partnership working will play an important role in efficiency reviews and options such as shared services and service outsourcing will be reviewed.

We will continue to develop our current HCA funded programme to 2018, subject to a full review of the viability of each scheme as a consequence of the July 2015 budget. We will continue to aspire to a shared ownership and affordable rent portfolio with an average yield of 4% per annum.

Further investment in new technology to enable communication channels to be widened to provide more services 24/7 through the use of the internet without increasing employment costs.

We will look at further partnerships and collaborations with other organisations to create synergies, in line with our business needs and cultural fit.

We shall work with our staff consultative group (SCG) to review a package of measures necessary to deliver cost savings to in response to the changing economic environment.

We will continue to create new homes through the utilisation of our assets including conversion, market rent, sale and regeneration.

To build our COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

Our objective to provide effective new services shall be retained, subject to robust financial and risk appraisals. We will continue to be selective about the contract services we will provide and limit these, so as not to put our reputation or financial viability at risk.

We recognise the importance of a local focus and work actively with our local statutory and voluntary partners to improve and shape communities. A shift of focus to community development is planned for our resident involvement going forward to assist with the development of more resilient communities, linking with our welfare reform strategy.

To provide DISTINCTIVE HOMES and PERSON CENTRED services

We shall prioritise our objective to provide photovoltaic panels, and continue to support and encourage employees to engage in recycling and sustainable travel as part of our Social Value strategy.

We will provide more than just landlord services because we care about the people and places where we work. We will achieve this objective by continually improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our housing and services.

We will continue to benchmark our Value for Money (performance and cost) with peer associations and report annually on our Social Value achievements as part of our Value for Money report.

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2) Self-assessment summary In accordance with the regulatory standard on Value for Money (VFM) which came into effect on 1 April 2012, this report is the fourth annual selfassessment of how the association is achieving Value for Money in delivering its purpose and objectives. It sets out the range of evidence that the Board have considered in support of their assessment of compliance with the standard requirements, including independent benchmarking, internal performance reports and management accounts, tenant feedback surveys, complaints analysis and internal audit.

Alan Lewin Chief Executive

Louise Platt Corporate Services Director

Areas requiring additional investigation and analysis have progressed satisfactorily and as a consequence the assurance that we can provide in this report is considered to have improved once again. We have presented a summary of the self-assessment assurance rating arising against each section of the VFM standard according to the following criteria below:

STRONG GOOD REASONABLE LOW

Stuart Fort Operations Director

Strong evidence Good evidence—some improvements needed to meet best practice and/ or top quartile corporate improvement objectives Reasonable evidence – some weaknesses to be addressed or further evidence of outcomes required Low evidence – weaknesses requiring identified action

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Self-assessment summary continued Self assessment area (extract of VFM standard requirement)

A definition of VFM in the context of the organisation’s purpose and objectives Registered providers shall articulate and deliver a comprehensive approach to achieving Value for Money in meeting their objectives, taking into account the interests of and commitments to stakeholders.

The association’s strategic approach to VFM and use of resources. How they are achieving Value for Money in delivering their purpose and objectives. A robust approach to making decisions on the use of resources to deliver the provider’s objectives, including an understanding of the trade offs and opportunity costs of its decisions. Understanding and optimising returns from our assets. An understanding of the return on its assets, and a strategy for maximising the future returns on assets, measured against the organisation’s purpose and objectives. The association’s arrangements to ensure delivery of VFM. That its performance management and scrutiny functions are effective at driving and delivering improved performance with outcomes and outputs clearly demonstrated.

What the organisation has achieved. An understanding of the cost of delivering specific services, which underlying factors influence these costs and how they do so, and how costs relate to appropriate benchmarks.

Assurance Rating

Compliance We have provided a comprehensive and transparent report upon the range of our Value for Money activities and outcomes.

STRONG

In particular we have investigated the relatively high cost of some of our services compared to peer organisations, explained the basis of our costs relative to nondiversified and diversified organisations. Identifying those areas where improvements shall be made and those where we choose to continue investment in order to meet our strategic objectives. GOOD

All Board decisions require presentation of VFM issues for consideration. All members and staff have received training. In light of the 2015 budget, we have undertaken a wide review of the business plan to reprioritise the use of our more limited resources in order to meet our key strategic goals.

We have expanded upon our financial analysis of return on assets across all of our housing stock into areas of energy efficiency, tenant satisfaction and stock turnover.

GOOD

We have examined our findings and have begun to undertake option appraisals for those estates or properties with below average returns.

We have reported upon the outcomes of our VFM service reviews and programme of procurement, simplicity and impact assessment reviews.

GOOD

We have embedded VFM into our corporate strategy and staff competencies. We have reported efficiency gains of 1.4% (target 1.3%) and cash savings of 5.3%(target 4.9%) for 2014/15, which was overall 0.5% ahead of our target performance.

STRONG

We have reviewed the performance of nine different service areas over time and how trends have improved or deteriorated. All deteriorating or Q3/4 benchmarks have been challenged and plans to improve (where appropriate to our corporate objectives) agreed.

Continued on page 8 ….. 7


Self-assessment summary continued Self assessment area (extract of VFM standard requirement) Measuring and knowing the Social Value of our outputs. How they are achieving Value for Money in delivering their purpose and objectives. A measurement of social returns arising from the association’s activities.

The organisation’s plans for next year. A rigorous approach to assessing options for Value for Money improvement, including where there are potential benefits in alternative delivery models that may involve partnerships, mergers and/or contracting with third parties.

How the Board has gained assurance in respect of the VFM self-assessment. How they have gained assurance in reaching their view on Value for Money.

Compliance

We have completed and published our first Social Value report for Axiom Academy demonstrating £8 of Social Value for each £1 invested.

Anticipated gains in 2015/16 are projected to increase to 6.9% of operating costs. We are undertaking a shared services option review with members of the 14 strong Blue Skies consortia.

Through a detailed self-assessment containing year on year trends and projections within the annual VFM report.

Assurance Rating

STRONG

GOOD

GOOD

Through benchmarking comparisons. Via peer assessments within internal audit reports.

Following this robust assessment of the association’s performance, the Board conclude that the association has good evidence to support compliance with the expected outcomes of the VFM standard.

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3) Value for Money Service Reviews

We plot progress each year using a VFM dashboard which you will see illustrated in the service reviews that follow. Our objective is to bring all services into the green ‘Good Performance and Low Cost’ section of the dashboard. Each of these areas are reported on and monitored internally in our annual VFM service reviews.

Key to VFM Charts

As part of the benchmarking process we are able to compare the cost and performance of our services against a peer group of housing associations ranging in size from 1,000 housing units to almost 30,000 units.

Actual Performance Quartile 4

Key to VFM Dashboards

We have used the Southern Traditional HouseMark benchmarking analysis since 2008/09 to challenge costs and performance outcomes compared to peers and to analyse trends over time in order to shape targets for improvement in the future.

A summary of the actual and projected findings from this exercise is given throughout Section 3.

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Actual Performance Quartile 3 Actual Performance Quartile 2 Actual Performance Quartile 1

P

Projected/Target Quartile 4

P

Projected/Target Quartile 3

P

Projected/Target Quartile 1 or 2

1

2011-12 actual benchmarks

2

2012-13 actual benchmarks

3

2013-14 actual benchmarks

4

5

2014-15 projected benchmarks based on actual results subject to HouseMark benchmarking exercise in autumn/winter 2015 2015-16 projected benchmarks based upon target performance and planned investments, subject to HouseMark benchmarking exercise in autumn/winter 2015


Poor Performance High Cost

Good Performance High Cost

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Responsive Repairs and Voids Works

Poor Performance Low Cost

Performance 2014/15 was an excellent year of repairs performance cementing our position as a top quartile performer allied with a low cost, efficient service with over 99% of responsive repairs being carried out on time.

Good Performance Low Cost 3 1 4 5 2

Performance

further savings on price without compromising the quality of the service. During the year our delivery remained at 100% gas servicing compliance. Effective cross-departmental working ensures that all relevant teams play a part in ensuring we gain access to tenants’ properties in order to maintain this vitally important performance.

Our impressive performance owes much to our long-standing and proactive partnering approach. Following the re-procurement of our responsive repairs service in 201314, we moved into a long term partnering arrangement with local contractors, Garfield’s. The contract includes a pricing mechanism based upon on a fixed price per property for repairs and an average void cost based upon architectural type. This approach permits expenditure to be predicted more accurately than the use of other pricing methods such as schedule of rates.

Over the last 5 years tenants have been heavily involved in all aspects of shaping the service. 2014/15 was no exception and included involvement in contract procurement, material specifications and monthly contractor performance meetings, all of which help to maintain our high standards and tackle any emerging issues.

The introduction of further batching of repair jobs means that the service can run more efficiently. Greater analysis of jobs by type and volume is beginning to establish repair trends that will help to identify where preventative maintenance measures could be put in place. Gas servicing activities are a high profile and important area of scheduled maintenance activity. In 2014/15 we retendered our gas servicing contract and made *estimated 10


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Responsive Repairs and Void Works Value for Money Appraisal

‘making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities’

This area of service activity continues to be in the top quartile of peer group performance and even of larger organisations. Re-procurement has ensured that costs have risen below the rate of inflation, and as the number of properties in management increases next year, we expect to see unit costs decline.

Performance Improvements Whilst our responsive repair and void service continues to be a high performing, low cost service, our focus is upon enhancing what we already do. To look at ways in which we can continue to improve, we shall continue to hold monthly Maintenance Advisory Panel meetings with residents and our main contractors, reviewing all aspects of asset management to monitor performance against target. Satisfaction of the repairs service will continue to be measured, to ensure we are delivering what our tenants want and to the standard they expect through:Telephone surveys made to 10% of residents who have had a repair completed. Feedback from over 80 resident representatives acting as Volume Controllers for the sites they live. Feedback from members of the Maintenance Advisory Panel (MAP) and Axiom Residents’ Forum (ARF). Our SAP ratings remain top quartile, with our properties enjoying high levels of energy efficiency; however we are actively engaged in the advanced project stages for the installation of photo-voltaic panels on as many suitable properties as possible before the scheduled cut in solar energy ‘Feed in Tariffs’ takes place in January 2016. We continue to implement our Asset Management Strategy which includes the disposal of properties that were built pre–1945 and have low rate of return (see also Section 6: Return on Assets).

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Good Performance High Cost 1

Poor Performance High Cost

Performance

2

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Rent Arrears and Collection

Poor Performance Low Cost

Against a backdrop of welfare reform, performance in the area of current arrears management remains excellent. In our report last year, we anticipated that we would see an adverse trend across the sector for arrears with the introduction of Welfare Reform laying the foundation for roll out of Universal Credit. However, through our proactive and targeted service delivery, backed up by process improvements designed to mitigate against increased exposure to bad debts and rent arrears, we have been able to achieve a strong performance again this year, generating a greater Value for Money offering to our residents and stakeholders.

3

4

5 Good Performance Low Cost

Performance

At the end of the 2014/15 financial year there were 1.98% of current rent arrears outstanding. In April 2013 we saw the advent of the Under Occupation Charge. Through our intensive support programme and clear and targeted communications strategy, we can report that, after two years of the Under Occupation Charge being in place, 93.22% of the affected residents are ‘staying and paying’. The number of people under-occupying fell during this time from 198 households down to 123. Our former tenant arrears improvement programme has continued at pace. This work commenced during the last quarter of 2013/14 and was a primary focal point of our improvement plan for 2014/15. Following the former tenant arrears review we have embedded a new procedure for recovery during 2014/15 and we are 2011/12 starting to see an improvement in Cost per property £135 Median £132 performance that we shall be looking to Benchmark Q3 report on in 2015/16. Forecast increases in management costs as a result of added tenant support during this period triggered an operational review of the separate Housing and Income Management teams, following which, we streamlined our management structure, and from June 2014, became a housing operations team. The new Housing Operations Team retains individual expertise in certain specialisms, but has facilitated wider delivery of common activities, thus enabling greater efficiency and effectiveness in operations.

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2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

£142 £141

£138 £157

£156 £157

£145 £157

Q3

Q2

Q2

Q2*

*Estimated

With the plan for the national roll of Universal Credit having been published we have established a Universal Credit Operations Group to promote a wholesystems approach to Universal Credit and direct payments. The effectiveness of our preparations will be assessed by a planned audit in November 2015, by our retained auditors Mazars. Our previous audit in 2013 highlighted that we were sector leads in the depth and understanding contained in our preparations.


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Rent Arrears and Collection Value for Money Appraisal

Planned Improvements

Greater investment in support and advocacy has enabled us to achieve historically good rent arrears performance whilst being able to report low operating costs.

We believe that our approach of gathering greater intelligence, targeted support campaigns and resource mapping have us well placed to respond to the impact of welfare reforms and the further roll out of Universal Credit.

Preventative partnerships and community events have been an important component to our investment in the wider community. We have been working with the following organisations: ‘Making Money Count’ team in Fenland and their digital bus service ‘Digital Drive’ bus service for Peterborough. ‘StepChange’ national debt charity. ‘Referent’ Peterborough based web referral system. Rainbow Savers Credit Union. Citizens Advice Bureau. Axiom Academy - Axiom’s in-house training provider. Our in-house income advisor has played a key role in developing these partnerships which in turn has directly benefited our more vulnerable residents. Throughout 2014/15 she has supported 63 residents and assisted them to maximise their income by a total of £188,000 of which £86,000 was directly attributable to Housing Benefit, resulting in tenancy sustainment. We recognised that the restructuring of our Housing and Income Teams would result in a short term increase in costs per property in 2014/15. However, we remain confident that the restructure will return longer term economies of approximately £20,000 per year from 2015/16 with our forecast cost per property reducing from £156 to £145 per property.

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In 2015/16 we shall be implementing the remaining changes following the former tenant arrears review and driving targets for improved performance. The most significant change to take place to our working practices throughout 2015/16 will be the implementation of mobile working technology. With the national roll out of Universal Credit now in place, we fully understand the need to be able to ‘take the office out onto the road’ and meet those most in need where they live. We are confident that the move to mobile working will yield improvements in performance, staff efficiency and satisfaction with our service. There will be significant cost avoidance as this ‘invest to save’ initiative will reduce the demand for increased staffing in the future. A series of other system upgrades are also scheduled to take place throughout 2015/16 which, alongside mobile working, will improve the way in which we currently work and result in more efficient and cost effective practices going forward; these include improvements to: our contact management system; customer relations module; our text messaging facility; and the introduction of more automated workflow processes. Maintaining our Quartile 1 position for current rent arrears performance remains our prime operational objective and we believe that we are in a good position to achieve this again for 2015/16. Continued focus on former tenant arrears will also remain a priority with our improvement programme aimed at bring this area of performance into Quartile 1.


Performance A full service review has been carried in this key area of our work. The review was undertaken in conjunction with anti-social behaviour (ASB) consultants. Central to the review was an assessment of our implementation of recommendations arising from an internal audit review undertaken in February 2015.

Good Performance High Cost

Poor Performance High Cost

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Anti-social behaviour

4 3 5 Poor Performance Low Cost

Good Performance Low Cost 1

2

Performance

A new policy and revised procedures have been developed to respond to poor satisfaction results returned within the STAR Survey 2014. This survey revealed that just 44% of tenants stated that they were satisfied with the outcome of their ASB complaint and 51% were satisfied with how it had been dealt with. This feedback was in stark contrast to our own quarterly satisfaction survey results on ASB (plotted in the graph opposite) which typically return a 25% higher satisfaction rating. The new procedures have built upon the positive relationships with our local authority partners to use new tools which came into force with the new Crime & Policing Act (October 2014). This included a more person-centred, harm-reductionist approach to ASB case management; their effectiveness will be continuously measured against a new set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). To support these changes all key frontline staff were provided with relevant training upon the ASB policy and procedures, plus the introduction of a new ASB quality assurance and compliance framework to identify any areas of poor performance or non-compliance.

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Early indications are that our new approach is being well received by victims of ASB, with an improvement in satisfaction results.


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Anti-social behaviour Value for Money Appraisal Our unit cost per property for ASB had traditionally been very low. In 2013/14 more resources were allocated to this area and it is through the introduction of new procedures, and more integrated working across our housing team that we aim to maintain costs in Quartile 2 while improved service outcomes are achieved.

Planned Improvements

Following a recent review our of Housing and Income Management Teams, we are now retaining the services of a specialist ASB officer. This, and the implementation of the new policy and procedures, mean we anticipate an improvement within our customer ASB satisfaction results going forward. During 2014/15 we have also: Revived our membership on local multiagency partnerships and networking forums to share best practice and liaise with key professionals who can support and advise on the resolution of complex cases. Resourced free training from relevant police departments and have been able to negotiate free housing law updates for our staff, delivered by one of our retained solicitors. Set up quarterly in-house ‘round table’ sessions to share best practice. Continued to undertake qualitative peer comparisons at free Chartered Institute of Housing ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. Introduced the use of ‘ECINS’, an electronic information sharing tool, that has enabled staff to share best practice and review cases with external partners saving significant time and money consequently reducing cross organisation duplication on the more complex cases. For more complex cases of ASB we have utilised consultancy services for advice and negotiated rates which are up to £130 per hour cheaper than contacting a solicitor.

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We are committed to ensuring that there are continued improvements in this service area and to this end we will continue with the following planned improvements: We have instructed our retained auditors Mazars to undertake quarterly compliance checks of this service area; we will implement any recommendations accordingly. Weekly case monitoring with immediate teams. Attendance at all relevant ASB groups and forums. Retain membership at the ASB best practice HouseMark Club. We have also identified the need for continued training and employment of the full functionality of our contact management system. We will be working with our system providers to upgrade and configure the contact manager module to support our new policy and procedures. This will provide a more efficient and streamlined service to assist the team in achieving the new KPI’s.


Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Major Works and Cyclical Maintenance Performance We continue to invest in the quality of our homes as part of our corporate strategy. The energy efficiency levels within our stock meets highest standards.

Poor Performance High Cost

Good Performance High Cost 5 3 4 2 1

Poor Performance Low Cost

Good Performance Low Cost

Performance

We understand the importance of good quality accommodation for our residents and in recent years have invested almost £3 million per year in planned and major works and replacing the component parts of properties – kitchens, bathrooms, heating, windows and doors. Whilst the totality of this investment places the association in Quartile 3 of annual costs per property, it helps to keep responsive maintenance expenditure low and makes a positive difference to the quality of life for our residents. We continue to have high levels of satisfaction with the quality of major work completed with almost 95% of residents being satisfied with the work and how it was carried out. 2014/15 was the first year of our major works partnering contract with our new providers and we have successfully managed the transition, establishing positive new relationships and implementing different and more efficient ways of working.

This enables us to model our future major works programmes to evaluate the optimum stock investment profiles over the life of our business plan. Our stock condition survey is updated at a rate of 20% of properties each year on a rolling programme, so we always have good quality and up to date information to model. Following the July 2015 emergency budget, we have utilised our modelling capability to propose the deferral of approximately £1.7m of previously planned and improvement works over the 4 years of proposed rent cuts, for rephasing delivery over 11 years to 2027. This plan will enable us to continue to retain all of our homes at decent homes standard, whilst balancing with other investment priorities.

During 2014/15 we also invested in ‘Scenario Planner’, a software product linked to our housing management database, to plan our major works programmes.

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Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Major Works and Cyclical Maintenance Value for Money Appraisal The re-procurement process for major works last year meant that we significantly reduced the price we paid for new kitchens and bathrooms to be fitted. We achieved costs savings of 18%, almost ÂŁ500 per kitchen/ bathroom, and we did so without detriment to overall quality. Our new contractor was able to achieve these savings via more efficient use of the supply chain and their greater purchasing power as they deliver a number of contracts across the region. Over the year we have made ÂŁ95,000 worth of savings as a direct result of our procurement processes over the last two years.

Planned Improvements

We expect to make similar savings through each year of the contract. We continue to have monthly meetings between the contractors and our Maintenance Advisory Panel (a resident involvement group), and these meetings have proved invaluable in establishing and monitoring the maintenance of quality standards.

In 2015/16 we shall be completing extensive improvements to Beech Court, the largest of our traditional sheltered housing schemes. This project marked the beginning of a 9 year plan to revitalise aspects of each of our sheltered schemes.

Having entered into a five year contract, with fixed prices (subject only to an annual inflationary increase) we are in a good position to maintain our quality service provision and to control costs for several years.

As a result of the rent cuts within the 2015 emergency budget, it is likely that the timescale of projects will be extended. However, the general high quality of our housing stock means that the necessary scaling back of major works will not threaten decent home standards. In the coming year we will consider at the potential to enter into a major works partnering arrangement for replacement doors and windows.

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4 Poor Performance High Cost

A Choice Based Lettings (CBL) service operates in Peterborough and across the Cambridgeshire sub-region (via the Homelink service), covering East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Fenland. CBL is also operating in West Lindsey. The only area in which we operate where there is a traditional allocation system is in South Kesteven).

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Lettings

Good Performance High Cost 5 2 3

1

Poor Performance Low Cost

Good Performance Low Cost

Performance

Performance At the end of the first half of the 2014/15 financial year, we experienced a surge in the number of properties becoming vacant and the resultant peak in void properties affected performance in void losses and re-let periods. The reasons for this increase were manifold including: greater numbers of residents downsizing to escape underoccupation penalties; an increased volume of new housing developments coming on stream in the local Peterborough area; and a significant reduction in numbers eligible in to register on the local housing list.

‘making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities’

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Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Lettings Value for Money Appraisal

Planned Improvements

Benchmarked peer group performance in this area of activity had been relatively unchanged since 2011/12.

In 2014, the Resident Scrutiny Panel undertook a review of voids in comparison with other peer associations.

The uncharacteristic surge in vacant properties during 2014/15 proved hard to recover and was exacerbated by the handover of 38 new housing units in March 2015 which increased the percentage of vacant properties recorded at year end. As this is another contributory measure of performance used by HouseMark to assess VFM, it is expected that performance levels may dip to Quartile 4 in the 2014/15 report, but we expect them to return to normalised levels in 2015/16.

The panel focused upon the quality of the re-let accommodation and resident satisfaction, but took into account the wider context of delivering VFM through efficient processes and shortened turn around periods. The agreed action plan has begun to be implemented 2014/15 and void losses are projected to reduce in 2015/16. Key aspects of the plan are set out below: greater autonomy over allocations into our Extra Care schemes, reducing re-let periods;

The average cost per property for this activity increased in 2014/15 due to a rise in costs associated with CBL schemes and following a significantly higher turnover in properties.

revised tenancy termination procedures, reducing rent loss and former tenant arrears;

In 2015/16 the level of stock turnover has returned to more usual levels and we expect cost and performance to return to our historic norms.

revised pre-void tenancy procedures, improving turn around times; undertake new tenant satisfaction questionnaires; greater use of gifting paint packs to new tenants, reducing cost and improving satisfaction; identify harder-to-let properties requiring incentive packages; better analysis of refusal reasons; and introduction of a new compliment of performance indicators for our voids contractors.

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Performance Following the restructure of the Housing and Income Teams we allocated housing patches for each of our Housing and Income Officers. Following our second STAR survey in the summer of 2014, we can report that taking everything into consideration, 88% of residents are satisfied with the service provided by Axiom. This is 1% down on the rating from two years previously, but is considered within statistical norms and not a cause for concern.

Good Performance High Cost

Poor Performance High Cost Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Tenancy Management

2 4 1 Poor Performance Low Cost

3 5

Performance

Benchmarked performance for tenancy management services is assessed by HouseMark using the annual percentage of tenancy turnover, the percentage of evictions and overall satisfaction percentage. Recognising that we have a relatively high proportion of turnover in comparison with our peers due to the nature of our property portfolio, we have undertaken a series of measures over recent years aiming to reduce this. These measures have brought about some downward movement as shown by the graph opposite, but changes arising from the 2015 emergency budget such as means testing and the introduction of a housing benefit cap may lead to increased rates of property turnover over time which we are preparing for.

20

Good Performance Low Cost


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Tenancy Management Value for Money Appraisal

Planned Improvements

Following a comprehensive review and restructure of the Housing and Income Management Teams, in June 2014 there has been an increase in costs in tenancy management shown for 2014/15.

Our Simplicity Review on voids will continue into 2015/16 and will have input from the Housing Management Panel: a monthly forum comprised of staff and residents reviewing performance across a number of key performance indicators.

We recognised that this would be a short term consequence of the restructure, however the change was necessary to reduce our overheads in the longer term by introducing more efficient and effective practices going forward.

Implementation of former tenants’ arrears review: looking at termination of tenancy processes. Implementation of ‘Making Every Contact Count’ strategy: looking at more holistic ‘one team’ customer service approach. Use of and upgrade of housing management system to better support ‘one team’ ethos and extract greater efficiencies. Mobile working will be introduced in 2015/16. This is a major feature of our strategies for operational management going forward over the next 5 years. We believe we will see a real change in the way we deliver our services to our tenants and as well as avoiding the costs of additional staff will enhance the resident experience and provide a more efficient way of working.

‘making a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities’

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Poor Performance High Cost

Performance Our service panels comprise of staff and residents and are designed to scrutinise and challenge performance, agree targets and monitor progress against business plan objectives and customer satisfaction levels. A number of panels have undertaken procurement exercises over the last few years, with the procurement of our gas servicing contract being undertaken by the Maintenance Advisory Panel (MAP) in 2014/15. This exercise resulted in securing an initial projected saving of ÂŁ70,000 over a 5 year period over the previous budget, with a potential for this to increase to ÂŁ140,000 if the contract is extended. In addition, our residents played a key role in opening up discussions under our new gas servicing contract regarding apprenticeships for school leavers. Our Housing Management Panel has also undertaken an in-depth review of our service-charge setting process with the aim of improved procedural efficiencies and greater transparency; this is a direct response to tenant satisfaction with service charges reducing by 2% from our results in the 2012 survey and we shall be testing our performance again in the 2016 STAR survey. Our Scrutiny Panel undertook two service reviews during 2014/15, one being on access to information and the second being on complaints. All Scrutiny Panel reviews have a key focus on Value for Money and both reviews have led to process and system improvement recommendations that have saved officer time and informed policy and procedure development to improve satisfaction. 22

5 Good 4 3 Performance High Cost 1 2

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review :

Resident Involvement

Poor Performance Low Cost

Performance

Good Performance Low Cost


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review:

Resident Involvement Value for Money Appraisal The association employs a dedicated Resident Involvement Co-ordinator to oversee a range of resident involvement initiatives each year. Whilst this approach places our comparable costs in the lower quartile of peer benchmarks, we view our ability to involve and engage residents in a meaningful way across a broad range of our activities as a genuine strength. Our most recent resident conference (October 2014) was attended by just over 130 residents who returned overall satisfaction levels of 98.4% with the day. Our quarterly monitoring statistics reveal that we are typically able to engage around 15% of tenants in some form of resident involvement activity. The cornerstone of our approach is couched within our operational services panel framework which includes the following service panels: Disability User Group. Housing Management Panel. Community Improvement Panel. Compliments and Complaints Panel. Gas Servicing and Responsive repairs. A key element of our resident involvement is our on-the-ground auditors, referred to as our ‘Volume Controllers’. Volume Controllers rate our services on a quarterly basis from the perspective of someone living in the community. Their regular feedback has proved to be a key customer feedback tool in resident satisfaction levels throughout our areas of operation at very low cost. We regard our actively involved residents as ‘internal consultants’ and whilst our relatively low number of properties reveals that our costs in this area do not always compare favourably to our benchmark peers; our Board of Management believe that investing in our residents in this way remains fundamental to good management and we are committed to continuing to direct resources at this important activity. Our 2014 STAR survey revealed that 74% of residents believe that Axiom listens to their views and acts upon them. 23

Planned Improvements September 2015 will see a new era for resident involvement with the new Residents’ Services Committee being established following a Governance restructure. The new committee will reside alongside four other Board committees and the new approach will provide a closer link between the Board of Management and the work of the operational service panels. We have applied for accreditation with the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) for our resident involvement work. We are confident we will achieve this quality mark and will continue to work with TPAS to devise methodologies which will allow us to extract tangible Value for Money returns in this key area of our work. We will be reviewing our approach to scrutiny, including resourcing and supporting the panel more efficiently, embedding a standardised Value for Money framework within all investigations and evidencing those returns when completing assessments. We will produce a clear ‘return on investment’ statement annually for each of our service panels and resident involvement associated activities. We will also be developing our engagement strategies through the use of social media, which we envisage will attract a more diverse cohort of residents whilst reducing our operational costs. As part of this we will make better use of e-communications with actively involved residents. We will also maximise the use of technology to support a reduction in mileage costs and to link this with our wider Value for Money strategy. We will also link more closely our resident involvement priorities with our welfare reform and community development programmes.


Poor Performance High Cost

Estate Services comprise of a range of different activities that combine to ensure that the appearance of our properties is always good and that residents live in an attractive and welcoming environment. We provide an in-house grounds maintenance service and provide cleaning services to communal areas. The absence of graffiti, regular and tidy waste collections, minimisation of fly tipping, repairing fences and walls are all factors that contribute to well run estates.

Good Performance High Cost

1 2

3 5 4

Cost

Section 3

Value for Money Service Review:

Estate Services

Poor Performance Low Cost

Good Performance Low Cost

Performance

Costs are projected to increase in 2015/16 following a reallocation of management resources.

Performance Neighbourhood satisfaction is measured across a broad range of factors. Our overall performance has been reported through the STAR survey at 84% and we shall be again testing this aspect of our service in our 2016 STAR survey. One element of our neighbourhood service is our grounds maintenance service. There has been a downward trend of costs of this service over the last three years, due to sharing the management responsibility across wider estate services.

In this area we have tried different more cost effective solutions, such as resurfacing with slurry seal where the traffic of pedestrians is relatively light rather than an expensive tarmac solution. Slurry seal is only 30% of the cost of a full tarmac solution and allows three times the level of work to be completed at the original price.

Our Community Improvement Panel (CIP) invests over ÂŁ100,000 per year in estate improvement projects that improve the appearance of our communities. This is a resident-led group who highlight the priority areas across all our portfolio of properties and then commission work to be carried out. Over the last 5 years more than 200 separate items of work have been completed.

We have an in-house electrician who attends to many jobs that arise in communal areas as well as PAT testing and making sure electrical appliances are safe. We also test in-house legionella in communal areas and these in-house teams offer greater flexibility and the ability to work across different areas of our services according to needs and priorities.

We also have a programme of resurfacing and maintaining car parks that were showing signs of wear and tear.

These are all better value for money than using external contractors for this high volume low return style of work.

24


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review:

Estate Services Value for Money Appraisal Whilst our major works programmes have focused on windows, kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems, we also invest in the infrastructure of our estates, that is the roads, pavements, fencing, walls etc.

Planned Improvements During 2015/16 we are planning a range of improvements: our Scrutiny Panel will carry out a scrutiny review of our grounds maintenance service;

These are the things that make an immediate impact and a first impression and contribute to residents’ well-being with where they live and affects other areas of residents’ satisfaction.

we will continue our work on anti-social behaviour which can impact this area through prompt attention to fly tipping and graffiti;

We have seen a reduction in resident satisfaction with their neighbourhood over the past three years, from a peak of 87% down to a more modest 84%.

our Estate Services team will be the subject of a wider review of how they operate and how we can maximise the benefits that residents obtain from their service;

The service remains in the good performance quadrant with the challenge being to make inroads into the higher cost elements of estate services.

we will look at how estate services are delivered in our sheltered schemes and supported housing projects; and we will continue to invest in the Community Improvements that are lead by our residents with an increased emphasis on improvements that deliver real and tangible benefits for residents.

New arbour at Moorside Court: CIP project

Committed Caring Creative

25


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review:

Supported Housing and other support services Our Supported Housing and other support services continued to achieve positive outcomes in a challenging cost environment in 2014/15. In 2013/14 we implemented a significant staffing restructure to adapt to significant reductions in funding. Our supported services are now delivering through a different operating model and continued to achieve over 75% of positive outcomes for clients, a real Value for Money achievement both in cost per client and Social Value outcomes. There were several key achievements during the year: retaining all our support contracts in Lincolnshire; the commissioning of a new move-on accommodation facility in Peterborough; new mental health accommodation in Peterborough; the building of a new young persons foyer in Gainsborough; the start of the planning of a new foyer in Melton Mowbray (a new area of operation); the start of a new service working with private landlords to re-house homeless people; the completion of the home-fromhospital project to rehouse homeless people after hospital stays; the start of the Healthy Conversations initiative in our foyers to improve the eating habits of young people; and starting a severe weather programme service for rough sleepers to ensure they didn’t spend nights outside in adverse weather.

26

Healthy Conversations Event: Peterborough Foyer

Our Mental Health Outreach Service continued to expand and offer the service more widely in Huntingdonshire. At the end of the year this service was supporting over 70 mental health clients to retain their independence and live with support in the local community. The service is well regarded by commissioners delivering cost savings to the public purse. For example, the maintenance of the independence of our clients in the community prevents the significantly greater costs of their hospitalisation. The Lincolnshire support contracts were an excellent example of the Value for Money principles we adopt in supported housing. As a high quality smaller provider we joined a consortia that meant we are able to bid competitively across the County for our whole range of services. We retained all our existing services and won additional contracts. Following a VFM review, we assessed that the resources required to deliver the smallest and most remote Lincolnshire services were uneconomic and therefore would be best achieved by more locally based members of the consortia. We therefore decided to transfer these contracts to them.


Section 3

Value for Money Service Review:

Supported Housing and other support services Value for Money Appraisal Supported Housing is one of our best examples of where our investment provides a demonstrable Value for Money return both for commissioners and for service users. Our services have expanded over the year with no increase in management overhead. We have reduced direct costs of support provision but maintained the previous levels of positive outcomes for service users. We have also been providing additional services that have contributed to our income whilst also implementing new services and undertaking different

27

“Supported Housing is one of our best examples of where our investment provides a demonstrable Value for Money return.�

initiatives. For example, our work with the private rented sector and the severe weather emergency accommodation. Changemaker House is our former main office now converted into moveon flats for young people. This scheme is being revenue funded by Peterborough City Council and there is a pathway in place for residents to move out of Peterborough Foyer and into Changemaker House. There is specific focus on supporting care leavers by this route that will provide major cost savings to our Commissioners.


Section 4

Overheads & Operating Efficiency:

Overhead Costs & Operating Efficiency In July 2012 the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) published its report ‘Understanding Unit Costs of Housing Providers: Regression Analysis’. This report examined the impact of various factors upon the unit costs of delivery within the sector. In particular it identified that the provision of Supported

Housing was the most important differentiating factor in comparative costs. The analysis quantified the average additional costs associated with Supported Housing to be £7,000 per unit per annum and £1,400 per unit per annum for Housing for Older Persons. Using this data we continue to compare our net operating costs per unit to the HCA’s national average benchmarks from 2010 to 2015, as illustrated in the chart below:

A comparison of operating margin efficiency with peer group associations that have a similar level of older persons/supported activity to ourselves reveal that despite the yearon-year improvement in operating margin there is room to improve further.

28


Section 4

Overheads & Operating Efficiency:

Overhead Costs & Operating Efficiency Due to our continued investment in technology and non-accommodation based services, overheads per unit continue to grow in comparison to units owned and managed. The charts below show the actual and predicted trends in our total overheads and overheads per unit since 2012-13:

Incremental growth in finance costs occurred in 2014-15 to accommodate additional accounting activities related to the transfer of control of Axiom Crossroads Care. In 2015-16 our plans include a significant investment in mobile working technology to support the increased demands on housing and maintenance teams to support more efficient and effective working and avoid additional human resource demands expected from new developments, welfare reform and growing care and support activities. Compared to group turnover and direct costs, and the ratio of central overhead costs has reduced and we project this will continue to fall in the current financial year.

Each year we set targets to control overhead expenditure, during 2014-15 overhead expenditure was curtailed by 2.7% of budgeted spend (a ÂŁ60,000 saving compared to a target of ÂŁ51,000.

Continued on page 30 29


Section 4

Overheads and Operating Efficiency:

Overhead Costs and Operating Efficiency Operating margin performance is tracked as an overall measure of financial business improvement and has been improving year on year, with internal targets set to continue this trend into the new financial year. In 2015-16 our care subsidiary will deliver its first operating surplus contribution to group surplus, however the lower operating margin of this activity will have the impact of reducing the group’s operating margin by approximately 2%.

From April 2016, planned rent reductions in the sector risk reducing our operating margins by approximately 1.5% per annum. During 2015-16 however we shall be implementing proposed mitigating actions that will preserve group performance to within a minimum margin of 20% by 2020.

Actions from last year The association has undertaken a comprehensive programme of VFM initiatives realising actual and anticipated future gains and cash savings in excess of our target of 6.2% of annual operating costs (net of depreciation). Actual gains in 2014-15 exceeded last year’s anticipated total by £60,300.

Full details of the cost and efficiency gains are given in Appendix 1.

Planned Improvements At the time of publication of this report a comprehensive review of all areas of overhead expenditure is being undertaken to mitigate the adverse impact upon operating margin performance in response to the proposed social housing rent cuts to be introduced from April 2016. 30


Section 5

Delivering & Measuring Social Value:

Delivering and measuring Social Value We have made real progress in measuring Social Value over the course of the last 12 months. Our Operations Director has taken responsibility for our approach and as a result we have taken a number of steps to embed Social Value into our wider work whilst also producing our first ever Social Value report that focuses on the work of Axiom Academy in delivering skills, learning and development to vulnerable people. Social Value is a key part of our work. We have a diverse range of services that positively impact on the lives of residents and service users. In the early part of 2014 we embarked on our Social Value journey with our ultimate aims being to tangibly demonstrate both the value we provide and how we generate that value to commissioners, individuals and the public purse. We initially took a parallel approach. We commenced a project with Peterborough City Council to devise a methodology for assessing Social Value in the services we provide to young people. In particular we wanted to look at the work we were doing with young care leavers (a priority group within the City) as we were developing some new accommodation for care leavers by refurbishing our old offices. This project is assessing at what Social Value can be derived over a longer period. So whilst we are interested in the short term results, we really want to see the impact of our interventions over a longer period and how sustainable the effect of our work has been. In Axiom Academy our approach focused on the value generated by the delivery of its learning services. For every £1 spent by Axiom Academy we were able to show that it generated £8 of Social Value. The study looked at the courses undertaken and the value attributed to those individual activities. We used two main sources of information: The Global Value exchange and HACT well being calculations; both well known and respected sources of data. The value fell into three areas – the fiscal value, the value to the individual and the well-being value to the individual. We assessed people who had been recipients of the Academy’s services and the

31

values that had been generated by their learning and development activities. For an investment of £940 we generated a Social Value of almost £8,000 per person; the values included enabling people to enter employment, making positive changes in their education and also took into account the ‘dead weight’ that can apply when attributing Social Value metrics. We also have a number of case studies arising from the study which demonstrate in practical terms the impact on people’s lives and in their own right, the case studies are examples of Social Value. We are continuing our work on Social Value in 2015/16: Social Value is now one of our corporate objectives. It sits alongside Value for Money in raising its awareness and being conscious of the Social Value we provide in different areas of our work. We are developing a Social Value Policy. This will set out our commitment to achieving and measuring Social Value. We are continuing our work on care leavers, but will also be looking to demonstrate the Social Value that we achieve in Axiom Crossroads Care, our in-house care provider. In particular we shall be looking at the impact we have in our extra care schemes with specific reference to the savings we can make to the health service, the prevention of slips, trips and falls, and the number of interventions that have to be made by the health sector. We believe that there is significant value in this area of our work. Social Value is now an intrinsic part of our day to day operations with 2015/16 building on the work we have completed in the last 12 months.


Return on Assets Each year the Board considers the capacity of the business plan to fund growth and development by reinvesting surpluses into new services and housing stock.

Return on Assets:

Section 6

The association reviewed its objectives to increase the supply of affordable housing and meet its three year target to build or acquire 132 new homes by March 2018 with an average yield of 4% per annum. The level of investment allocated to housing and new business development is established through a process of rigorous financial planning after allotting appropriate resources to planned improvements, core service improvements and maintenance commitments. In July 2013 the Board approved its updated Asset Management Strategy, which included plans to accelerate the existing programme of disposal of older and uneconomic stock. This will serve both to avoid uneconomic future maintenance liabilities and to increase the overall thermal efficiency of the stock (by replacing older stock with new, energy efficient properties). Sales proceeds from disposals are applied to supporting new development and to funding improvements to sheltered and supported schemes and estates infrastructure. Key ratios for the operating and net returns on assets are measured and projected to ensure that asset growth is achieved in a sustainable way generating income streams for reinvestment in the future. Due to our size the phasing of new developments may lead to a short-term deterioration in performance that recovers once assets are fully commissioned. The table below illustrates the actual and anticipated profile arising from new developments in 2014-15 and beyond and how this may be impacted by the proposed rent reductions without remedial action:

32


Return on Assets In 2013-14 we reported upon our approach for monitoring the returns delivered across our housing stock by asset type and location. During 2014-15 we have seen an improvement in overall returns increasing from 10.7% to 11.4%.

Return on Assets:

Section 6

The table below shows the summary of net rental returns on capital employed by accommodation type for the last two financial years.

Net Rental Net Capital Returns Employed

Accommodation Type

2014-15 2013-14 Return Return % %

General Needs

£

4.06m

£ 35.01m

11.6%

10.9%

Older Persons

£

1.46m

£ 14.29m

10.2%

9.5%

Supported: Young Persons Foyers

£

0.30m

£

1.25m

24.0%

22.1%

Supported: Hostels and Other

£

0.28m

£

2.46m

11.4%

12.3%

Stock identified for disposal

£

0.15m

£

1.98m

7.8%

8.1%

Combined Net Rental Returns (before overhead)

£

6.25m

£ 54.99m

11.4%

10.7%

Fluctuations of return on assets year on year can be caused by repairs and voids experience. In order to identify emerging issues, we continue to monitor the annual financial performance of our housing stock by scheme or estate and to compare performance with the previous year. As summarised in the chart opposite, there has been a general improvement in return on assets to 10% and above. Stock identified for disposal is separately displayed and is net of any future investment requirements. Each disposal remains subject to individual VFM analysis and Board approval. Continued on page 34 33


Return on Assets As set out in last year’s report, in 2014/15 we undertook a detailed analysis of internal benchmarks of asset performance which we then mapped against net rental returns by housing scheme/estate.

Return on Assets:

Section 6

Quality indicators of thermal efficiency, resident satisfaction and stock turnover have now been used to categorise housing assets meeting, exceeding or failing our internal benchmark target.

The analysis confirmed that 24 of the housing properties identified for potential disposal had quality indicators meeting target, it also revealed a different 20 units that fell short of target performance levels during the year. In each instance the circumstance of the shortfall in performance has been identified and will be monitored so that upon re-let an option appraisal can be undertaken to determine the most efficient use of the asset going forward.

Following the Government’s announcement on 8 July 2015 of its intention to change the rent indexing model from CPI +1% to a reduction in existing rents by 1% per annum from 2016 to 2020, the way we monitor return on assets will also be impacted, and we shall work during 2015/16 to identify appropriate revised benchmark targets of asset performance. .

34


Acquisition and development of new homes: Section 7

Acquisitions and development of new homes Our 2015–2018 development programme is based on our success in securing HCA grant for a diverse range of schemes including: Melton Mowbray Foyer – 27 units with associated training facilities; Bassenhally extra care scheme – 60 unit extra care scheme in Fenland. Paines Mill Foyer extension – 7 unit extension for single homeless in Huntingdonshire; Alconbury – disabled bungalow; and general needs for affordable rent – 20 units in Peterborough. All of these schemes secured grant through a partnership approach and a combination of subsidies to deliver Value for Money both in the quality of the scheme and the long term social impact of the accommodation and services provided.

Melton Foyer has been supported by free land and a capital contribution from the Local Authority as well as HCA grant. Bassenhally extra care scheme is funded through a combination of subsidised County Council land in addition to HCA grant and recycled grant contribution from Axiom. With the exception of the general needs housing in Peterborough all of these schemes are supported housing, providing a range of housing, care and support services to vulnerable people, in line with our mission to ‘make a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities.’ However, even with innovative funding, these schemes by their nature are costly as they have large circulation spaces and shared amenities such as common rooms and dining areas. As part of our VFM assessment for 2015/16 we shall be reappraising all of our development schemes within our programme to test if they can still be delivered in the context of the rent reduction from 2016–2020 and engaging with the HCA on options to input additional RCGF and transferring grant from one programme to another in line with our strategic priorities. The Board will also be reassessing the capacity of Axiom’s finances to support new housing development growth and balance this with the ongoing management and maintenance priorities.

Gainsborough Foyer 35


Our embedded approach to Value for Money improvements: Section 8

Our embedded approach to Value for Money improvements Our approach to Value for Money is embedded in a culture of seeking efficiencies (both cost and process) and continuous improvement throughout all our activities. This is demonstrated in our 2015/20 Corporate Strategy, our business plan, service plans and staff members’ individual appraisals. The involvement of all staff in contributing ideas through their own teams is essential to our business and staff’s performance is monitored through regular 1-2-1’s as well as their annual appraisal. With the support of the Performance & Improvement Committee the Resident Scrutiny Panel provides a channel for tenant scrutiny and influence over our day to day activities. During 2014-15 the Resident Scrutiny Panel, Finance & Audit Committee, Executive Team and staff have collectively identified a range of measures to further embed Value for Money across the whole of our operations. From this work we have established a wide range of Value for Money initiatives up the end of the 2015/16 financial year based on clear, measurable and stretching objectives to further improve upon our economy, efficiency and effectiveness across all aspects of our activities. These are all documented on our nineteen service plans which are monitored by our Executive Team, Performance & Improvement Committee and Board of Management quarterly. Following the completion of a comprehensive governance review, a revised committee structure will be introduced from September 2015 devolving the work of the old Performance & Improvement Committee across new committees for Residents’ Services, Care & Support, Development & Assets and Finance & Audit. The Board will also be appointing a Portfolio Holder from amongst its members, to take a lead in the area of Value for Money and to work with the Executive Team and other staff to help develop strategy and policy.

36


Appendix 1: cost and efficiencies analysis

37


Appendix 1: cost and efficiencies analysis

38


Our Mission Our vision is to make a positive difference to people’s lives and our communities.

Our Vision To provide distinctive, integrated housing, care and support services. To inspire and empower our staff, residents and communities.

Our Values To be committed, caring and creative in all we do.

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Axiom Housing Group Axiom Housing Association Limited Axiom Crossroads Care

Value for Money Annual Report 2014/15

Axiom Housing Association Limited Axiom House, Cottesmore Close, Netherton, Peterborough PE3 9TP  01733 347135

 www.axiomha.org.uk

 enquiries@axiomha.org.uk

www.axiomha.org.uk www.axiomacademy.org.uk For large print please call  01733 347135

Value for money report for web  

Axiom Value for Money Annual Report 2014/15

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