We aim to reduce waste and inefficiency in our services, while maximising income and asset value. We re-invest additional financial capacity in services and building new homes. Over the past year we:
- Delivered £10m by disposing of empty properties and a small number of high value homes
- Carried out £28.5m of stock investment works, introducing a common sense approach to investment and demand-led replacement
- Re-procured 40 contracts, saving £6.5m
- Restructured Hyde Property Services’ materials supply chain
- Transferred non-core stock to other providers
- Sold our student accommodation
- Rationalised our offices.
Making the most of our assets
During 2015/16, we continued to develop our Asset Intelligence Model, updating it with information from a stock condition survey carried out on more than 10,000 properties.
The model has been used to assess the financial and social performance of individual and groups of properties. By disposing of properties beyond economical repair, plus those in low demand, we have delivered over £10m that will be used for resident services and to build more homes.
Local Asset Management Plans are now in place for all local authority areas in which we work and these will be used to help inform our strategic asset decisions.
Common sense investment
In 2015, we introduced a new way of delivering stock modernisation: ‘Common sense investment’. This means that instead of replacing kitchens or bathrooms, for example, when they reach a certain age, they are now only replaced if they are beyond economical repair. This saved more than £2m in 2015/16 and should save £15m over four years.
We also introduced the Hyde Quality Standard in 2015/16. This provides a minimum standard for stock investment and greater choice for residents.
During 2015, our procurement team saved more than £6.5m by re-procuring more than 40 contracts worth about £1bn. We also successfully piloted the ‘Selling our procurement services’ initiative, which attracted interest from more than 15 other public sector organisations, with seven buying access to our contracts. This generated about £100k for Hyde.
We also re-procured our main Construction framework, which has not only benefited Hyde but, by opening up the framework to other public bodies, has also helped seven organisations procure more than £250m of construction services, leading to around 750 homes being delivered more efficiently.
We re-tendered Hyde’s insurance services contract, leading to £1.8m (22%) savings on premiums over the contract life. Pensions administration and adviser services were also retendered, leading to savings of 19% (£292k) over the contract life. This will ensure our staff benefit from an improved online advice service.
Hyde Property Services
We restructured the supply chain of our direct labour organisation Hyde Property Services (HPS). Previously, operatives were sourcing materials from about 80 merchants but now Buildbase will supply all materials for maintenance and stock investment work, leading to more than £1.3m savings in material costs over the contract life and an improved service for residents. Buildbase also shares Hyde’s social ethos, with 1% of its annual turnover from HPS going into a fund for us to draw on for local community projects.
We were recognised as a procurement sector leader by several professional and industry awards, including:
- Procurement Excellence in the Public Sector (GO) Awards – Team of the Year Category - Winners Achievement, 2015/16
- Procurement Leaders Awards - Public Sector Category – Overall Winners, 2015/16
- Procurement Leaders Awards – Transformation Category – Finalists, 2015/16.
2015/16 saw us continue to streamline our office portfolio. We closed one of our London offices - Long Lane - in July 2015 and relocated most staff to our head office in Park Street. We sold our large Southampton office in August 2015 for £1m, relocating to a much smaller serviced office in the area. The Roundshaw, Sutton team moved to our Stockwell office and in March 2016 our Hove operation relocated to Brighton, freeing up the office for developing much-needed homes.
During the year, we transferred ownership and management of 1,000 homes on the Roundshaw estate in Sutton to Metropolitan Housing Association. Previously we jointly owned the properties with Metropolitan in a partnership called Roundshaw Homes.
We received 800 properties in Croydon and 17 in Bromley in return, consolidating our stock in these areas. The new arrangement will provide residents with a more effective, better value service with a single point of contact for information, services and routine transactions.
We exited a total of nine local authority areas where our stock was very dispersed and management costs high and consolidated our stock holding in Bexley, Croydon and Haywards Heath.
In 2016/17, we will sell properties in Hampshire and acquire properties in Portsmouth, Southampton and Bromley. This will reduce the number of local authority areas in which we operate by 16 (15%) and increase our stock holding in eight boroughs, without reducing the number of properties we own.
The decline in Supporting People funding has made many of our sheltered and supported housing schemes at risk financially. As a result, we transferred 28 supported housing schemes to other providers, with a further 41 targeted for transfer and 25 currently being assessed.
We also started a programme for introducing an Intensive Housing Management service for our sheltered schemes for older people, with eight sheltered schemes benefitting from the service during 2015/16. This service includes providing additional management support to vulnerable residents and extra responsibility for a scheme’s health and safety requirements.
We also completed the sale of our student accommodation in Greenwich and Rochester to other student accommodation providers, as this type of property is outside of our core business. Our health worker accommodation is being refurbished to provide intermediate housing for more potential customers.