Since the launch of the HACT Social Value Bank earlier this year, housing providers are now able to financially value the social impact results of their community investment activities. This puts them in a strong position to easily communicate the difference they are making to their staff, boards and other stakeholders.
Value for Money statements
In 2012, the HCA introduced a new Regulatory Framework for social housing in England. Under this framework, social housing providers have to “articulate and deliver a comprehensive and strategic approach to achieving value for money”. Boards are required to maintain a robust assessment of the performance of all their assets and resources, including their social returns. A key part of this process is the annual production of a Value for Money statement that is transparent and accessible, and sets out to stakeholders how VFM is being achieved.
There has been limited prescription from the HCA about how these Value for Money statements should be prepared. However, the regulator has demonstrated that it is willing to sanction organisations that it finds have not produced or disseminated the statements adequately.
Value Insight provides an intuitive and systematic method to understand and display the social impact of a provider’s community investment. As Value for Money assessments are intended to cover the breadth of a housing provider’s activities, and to consider social returns, the outputs from Value Insight can be a useful component in ensuring the organisation has the necessary strategic approach to value for money.
Organisations are already using or planning to use the Social Value Bank or Value Insight to demonstrate their Value for Money include Southway Housing Trust, City South Manchester Housing Trust, Calico Group, Bolton at Home and Magenta Living.
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 has placed a requirement on housing providers to consider their social impact when undertaking procurement activities and so need a way to be able to measure it. Housing providers wield a great deal of influence through their investment and have a responsibility to make well-informed procurement decisions to ensure they optimise the social impact of contracts. The Social Value Bank offers a robust set of values to provide an accurate assessment of the social value of potential contracts.
Providers are starting to build values from the Social Value Bank into their internal procurement processes; to inform decisions and showcase the daily impact that their organisations are having on the local areas through their procurement. First Ark and City South Manchester are beginning to embed Value Insight into their bidding and investment decisions.
Improved business management
Organisations are finding that Value Insight also plays an important role improving business management, through improved record keeping and developing linkages across different teams of the organisation.
Liverpool Mutual Homes have informed us that they are aligning the use and results of Value Insight with their regeneration strategy.
Funding bids and partnership working
Housing providers are using the values in the Social Value Bank to provide potential partners with evidence of the social impact that joined up working could achieve, as well as using the values to demonstrate how they may meet funders’ outcome requirements.
HACT is developing a package to help communicate and roll-out Value Insight across your organisation. If you are interested in finding out more or being one of the first to try this, please get in touch or call 020 7250 8500.
Have you tried Value Insight?
Feedback from housing providers
"Value Insight has enabled us, for the first time, to measure the value of neighbourhood activities which we always ‘felt’ were the right things to do but were difficult to quantify. Value Insight has shown us that what we felt was right!"
Alicia Foley, Calico Homes
"We will be able to make strategic decisions based upon this approach, directing our community investment to activities where we can maximise the positive benefits to our communities and achieve value for money where monetary outcomes are not readily available. "
Jamie Martin, Magenta Living
"Liverpool Mutual Homes are using Value Insight to measure the value of its social investment across its neighbourhoods. At LMH we find Value Insight, user friendly whilst giving us the feedback required to influence which projects we undertake across our neighbourhoods. The values attributed to the outcomes are from an endorsed and reputable source which enables us to give a genuine meaning to our community investment activities."
Andrew Oates, Liverpool Mutual Homes