It’s no secret that housing in Ireland is a massive problem. Rent explosions and homelessness dominate the headlines and rightly so. However, little is being reported in regard to the great work that AHBs (approved housing bodies) are doing to tackle the issue. In 2019, over 40% of social housing units were built by AHBs.
Over the next 2 years, 50,000 homes are going to be delivered into the social housing sector as part of the Rebuilding Ireland scheme. Of that 50,000, AHBs are likely to provide over a third and are further cementing the fact that they are key stakeholders in the mission to supply social housing.
One of the major roadblocks to this great work is the re-classification of AHBs as a ‘local government sub-sector’. This a move away from the previous classification of AHBs as a private non-profit institution, results in them competing with other public sector services for funding. The impact of this will be;
“It is highly likely that reclassification will result in less money being available for AHBs, with an obvious consequential reduction in social housing output. This, in turn, could threaten Rebuilding Ireland’s ambitious delivery targets.” Brian O’Gorman, Chief Executive Clúid Housing.
This increased degree of competition will require AHBs to look internally, at their own processes in order to identify inefficiencies. Though, in doing this they may very well identify and adopt practices that actually allow them to exceed current output, by reaching new levels of efficiency and productivity. This may be done through reducing their workload, by working smarter and not harder. There are a number of ways a smart cloud-based software solution like Affinity could help;
Number 1: Saving money
As such, now more than ever the focus of AHBs should be to source cost-effective and scalable solutions to their problems. Being aware of the specific issues that face AHBs, particularly in the pursuit of providing housing has allowed us to create the perfect one.
Our dedicated cloud-based Social Housing Solution, Tilt Affinity, has been built with proportionality and transparency in mind. Proportionality in pricing, focusing on value for money, making sure that no user pays more than they should and a transparency in our operations in serving the sector.
This proportionality is demonstrated through our specific pricing model, which is based on the AHB tier system. In addition to this, constant product updates are informed by the specific needs of AHBs. This also allows us to remain agile in our offerings, while ensuring that our software is exactly what housing associations need and want. After all, it is what motivated us to build it in the first place.
Time is money, saving time by freeing-up AHBs from the burden of mundane tasks will allow them to better direct their efforts to achieve their goals. Take for example our differential rent calculator, a feature in Affinity which is designed to calculate specific rent assessments for AHBs.
“One Dublin-based Approved Housing Body told us they used to take a week to process 40 rent assessments. With Affinity’s different rent calculator they can now do 40 per day!”.
Imagine where else you could direct your time if you weren’t bogged down with tedious and tiresome tasks like rent assessments.
Within Affinity let void reports have been combined into a single report. This is useful as it gives a much clearer picture and by including the filters which allow users to customise the report across dates ranges, let types (new lets and relets) and void types (general, nomination, etc) we allow AHBs to track performance in the way that suits them.
Voids are a key part of AHB reporting to the regulator and we feel this enhancement to the void report can help AHB’s by keeping a tight control on void length and providing clear accountability. Overall, this can attribute to the performance management of AHBs, by improving void reporting communications they can better track their performance over time and have a clearer idea of their operations.
Other useful links:
For more info check-out:
The housing conference report on reversing the classification
Our pricing structure
Our differential rent calculator- which is saving housing associations time and money
Check out updates to our void reporting and other features
See Clúid’s plan for dealing with the reclassification
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