Corporate information

As an anti-poverty landlord, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust is committed to offering maximum value for money to our residents and demonstrating our impact.

How we're funded

The majority of our funding for our operating activities comes from rents, service charges and fees that are levied on our residents and service users. New housing and care developments are funded using a mixture of public grants, when these are available, loan finance and sales.

Our commitment

We are committed to:

  • providing good quality homes for people in need;
  • managing and maintaining homes to high standards;
  • offering a range of services;
  • responding to individuals' needs and changes in circumstances.

We are also committed to telling you how we have performed in key service areas and comparing our performance to other housing associations who are delivering the highest standard of service across the country (called the ‘top quartile housing associations).

How we define value for money

Value for money is about making sure that we make our resources (people, money, properties) work as hard as possible for the benefit of our residents. This includes:

  • economy – careful use of resources to save expense, time or effort;
  • efficiency – delivering the required level of service for lower cost, less time or less effort;
  • effectiveness – delivering a better service or getting a better return for the same amount of expense, time or effort.

Our value for money strategy

We have a strategy and guidance for staff setting out how we will deliver value for money. The main elements are:

  • ensuring value for money is a key part of our strategic plan;
  • preparing the financial and service-based business plans, setting out how we allocate resources in line with the strategic plan objectives;
  • the annual budget-setting process, in which budget holders and the executive agree savings and opportunities to increase income against our strategic objectives;
  • annual benchmarking of our housing business using Housemark and our registered care service using Fair Price for Care, a model developed by us;
  • our asset management strategy, setting out current and future use of land and property, including disposal of non-strategic assets, with funds invested in improvements to existing stock or used to develop new homes. 

Staff and residents are involved in producing the strategy, and staff in implementing it. However, the real work on value for money occurs within our day-today operations where we use a variety of methods to ensure that we consider the dimensions of value, and work to improve them.

Governance of value for money

It is the role of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust Board and Trustees to provide strategic direction and leadership on the subject of value for money, as evidenced by board involvement in approving and monitoring the delivery of the business plan and financial performance, with quarterly scrutiny of performance; and including value for money as a mandatory consideration of every report going to board and trustee committees.

Resident scrutiny

Involvement of residents in monitoring costs and service performances is an important element of our value for money strategy. The resident scrutiny panel undertakes service audits and reports recommendations to the Board. Residents are also involved in scrutiny of costs and services in other community-based forums. We provide training to support them in improving the quality of their considerations.

Staff-led service reviews

We have a cross department staff value for money group which uses its combined skills to undertake a programme of reviews into things such as the way we manage recruitment and the cleaning service for care schemes.

How we deliver value for money

Some examples of how we achieve value for money are:

  • ensuring the homes we design are adaptable to reduce future costs;
  • reducing the running and heating costs of homes by building energy efficient buildings and retro-fitting our existing homes;
  • supporting independent living, backed up by access to domiciliary, residential and nursing care to reduce costly and traumatic admission and time in hospital;
  • providing advice and support to residents to prevent debt, or provide practical routes out of debt, helping residents avoid the cost of evictions and repossessions;
  • providing opportunities for community activity to increase access to sport and social activities, reduce loneliness and build self-sustaining communities;
  • improving quality of education and access to training, employment  and early years childcare through financial support to schools, work placements, apprenticeships and graduate intern placements, and delivery of an early years’ service. 

These and other measures derive from our strategic plan which defines the purpose and direction of the organisation.

Our achievements 2012-2015

We are embedding the learning from all of our work during 2012-2015 into our strategic plan for 2015-2017. Some of our achievements included:

  • building award-winning homes during the first phase of Derwenthorpe, a new mixed-tenure community in York built to high standards of energy efficiency;
  • becoming a Living Wage employer and supporting other employers in York to do the same;
  • contributing to the development of dementia-friendly communities and employers;
  • informing the development of legislation on modern slavery in the UK;
  • working with communities in the North of England to address loneliness;
  • stimulating evidence-led debate on how to create a more stable, sustainable housing market through the work of the Housing Market Taskforce;
  • providing accessible and useful data through our data website;
  • identifying in-work poverty as an issue and starting public debate on the changing nature of poverty;
  • commissioning a comprehensive evidence review of how to reduce poverty in the UK, to inform the development of anti-poverty strategies for the four nations;
  • delivering high-quality housing and care in the North East of England;
  • investigating the nature of care homes in the 21st century and completing an inquiry into risk and regulation;
  • establishing strong partnerships with the three devolved administrations in the UK. 

Statements of Compliance

As required by the Homes and Communities Agency, all registered providers are asked to certify their compliance with the Governance and Financial Viability Standard in their annual accounts. The JRHT Board confirms that JRHT has assessed its compliance with the Governance and Financial Viability Standard and they certify that JRHT complies with all the requirements.

JRHT Compliance with 2015 NHF Code of Governance

The JRHT Board adopted the NHF 2015 Code of Governance in November 2016 and complies with the main principles, however in compliance with the first requirement of the code; a statement detailing areas of non-compliance is included below.

The JRHT Trustee body are ultimately responsible for JRHT and delegate some authority to the JRHT Board which provides expertise, operational oversight and enables the JRHT Trustees to deliver effective governance. In particular the JRHT Board has responsibility for determining key policies, that there is effective engagement with residents, monitoring performance in finances, developments and service delivery and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Trustees abide by their constitution which provides for appointments of up to 2 five year terms. Consequently, the Trustees do not comply with the Code’s provision regarding terms of office as detailed in D2 where a maximum term of 9 years is proposed. The recruitment process for any new Trustee includes the completion of a skills audit of all existing Trustees to ensure the balance and diversity of the Board, and to identify any gaps in experience or skill.

Despite the one area of non-compliance, JRHT strives to uphold the nine principles of good governance as defined by the NHF code of governance.

Annual report and accounts