How we're funded
The majority of our funding for our operating activities comes from rents, service charges and fees. These are levied on our residents and service users. New housing and care developments are funded from a mixture of public grants, loan finance and sales.
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. We compare our performance to other housing associations who are delivering the highest standard of service across the country. These are called the ‘top quartile housing associations.
How we define value for money
Value for money is about making our people, money and properties work as well as possible for 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. Budget holders and the executive agree savings and opportunities to increase income against our strategic objectives.
- Annual benchmarking of our housing business using Housemark. Also 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. 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. Staff then implement it. However, the real work on value for money occurs within our day-today operations. We use a variety of methods to ensure that we consider the dimensions of value. We then work to improve them.
Governance of value for money
The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust Board and Trustees provide strategic direction and leadership on value for money. This is evidenced by board involvement in approving and monitoring the delivery of the business plan and financial performance. There is quarterly scrutiny of performance. This Includes value for money as a mandatory consideration of every report going to board and trustee committees.
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. It uses its combined skills to undertake a programme of reviews. These are 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. Building energy efficient buildings and retro-fitting our existing homes.
- Supporting independent living, backed up by access to domiciliary, residential and nursing care. This reduces costly and traumatic 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. 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. This is through financial support to schools, work placements, apprenticeships and graduate intern placements. 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. 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. Completing an inquiry into risk and regulation
- Establishing strong partnerships with the three devolved administrations in the UK.