Delivering value for money
Achieving value for money and continuous improvement remains a fundamental business strategy for L&Q and we have strengthened and deepened our approach since last year.
In 2013/14 we generated a surplus of £174million. It is key to L&Qs aims that we continue to generate significant surpluses for reinvestment. We can now use our expertise in housing to maximise our business and find ways to fund our social mission ourselves. We acknowledge that we need to continue working hard to improve resident satisfaction and innovate so that we can achieve more for our customers.
How we deliver value for money
We have integrated our approach to achieving value for money into all that we do.
- Governance - Our board members review the efficiency of our work and make sure that we comply with industry standards on value for money. We also encourage staff to question how we operate to find ways of providing a better and more efficient service;
- Financial - Our budget and business plans include targets for making efficiency gains and improvements to services each year. Each department also works to improve how it buys goods and services and looks for new ways to work with partners so that we provide real value for money;
- Our assets increasing our understanding of the performance of our assets and taking steps to improve their performance;
- Managing performance - We review our performance continuously and check how we compare to other large housing associations. We aim to remain among the best for financial strength and quality of services. To do this, our senior staff review the costs of our activities and identify how we can improve services;
- Resident focus - We are committed to making sure that residents receive value for money from their rent and service charges. We involve residents in our decision making and our board and senior staff monitor resident satisfaction levels regularly;
- Planning process - Our yearly business planning process aims to achieve the best service to residents at the most efficient cost, and to generate enough surplus to enable us to invest in improving services and growing responsibly; and
- Our people - We are committed to investing in our staff and rewarding outstanding performance to improve resident satisfaction and financial strength.
Our Success in 2013/14
- Deliver more homes over 1,000 new homes, 700 of which are for sub-market rent or affordable home ownership;
- Increase our new development capacity from £2.3 billion to £4 billion over five years;
- Earmarked £2 billion to improve, reconfigure and maintain our existing homes. This includes a £150 million budget for stock reconfiguration, of which 33 schemes were approved during the year and will result in a £4.5 million increase in net present value when complete;
- Achieve 78% overall resident satisfaction in 2013/14, with low management costs and £4.7 million of savings from the procurement of improved services; and
- Support our residents and communities we helped 274 residents to get a job and supported 29 apprentices. We also achieved £2.3 million of financial gains for residents and helped residents affected by benefit changes to avoid accruing rent arrears.
Increasing value for money in the future
We have firm plans to improve value for money in the future. Important initiatives that we are taking forward now are:
- Delivering 13,000 new homes over the next five years using our increased development capacity and little government subsidy;
- Funding £100 million of community investment projects to deliver our social purpose by improving the lives of our residents;
- Transforming our services over the next three years to deliver significantly improved resident services; and
- Increasing our understanding of the returns we achieve from different assets. We will then use this knowledge to develop targeted strategies for investment and maintenance decisions and deal with under performing assets.
We are in the third year of our five year planning cycle and during 2014/15 will be drawing up our next five year plan. Value for money will continue to be at the heart of that plan.
You can find further information on how we provide value for money in the following documents: