Soho Housing constantly strives to be efficient in its expenditure, but is firmly committed to making sure that its tenants get the service they deserve, both from our own staff and from those we use as contractors and suppliers. We continue to try and build long term relationships with those we work with as these allow good service levels to be demanded and obtained, whilst careful review of the market allows us to ensure that we pay the right prices for the goods and services we need within these contracts.
The five year trends on our key operating cost headings together with our budget targets for 2017/18 are set out below.
|Cost area||2012/13 Actual||2013/14 Actual||2014/15 Actual||2015/16 Budget||2016/17 Budget||2017/18 Budget|
|Management cost per social housing unit||£1,042||£1,039||£1,315||£1,138||£1,211||£207|
|Service cost per social housing unit||£853||£886||£986||£1,356||£1,017||£1,064|
|Maintenance costs per social housing unit||£3,010||£2,851||£2,583||£2,803||£3,079||£2,748|
|Total operational costs per social housing unit||£4,905||£4,776||£4,884||£5,297||£5,307||£5,019|
Our budget for 2016/17 projected an 0% change in our income and an increase in expenditure of 4%. We achieved an 6% increase in income, so a good result. There was a 4% decrease in expenditure, again a good result overall. One of the main reasons for the decrease was the £225k cost of buying out our communal aerial lease contract in 2015/16. This is a one-off cost and accounts for 4 of the 6% of the decrease.
The 2017/18 budget targets allow for a significant decrease in maintenance costs, as we continue to strive to find better ways of working and more intelligent planning in this area.
Examples of savings achieved in 2016/17 include:
- We changed our gas and heating maintenance provider during the year and as a result have achieved savings of £55k compared to 2015/16.
- Our housing team have undergone training to allow them to progress further with dealing with tenant arrears before involving solicitors. This has saved £19k in legal fees in the current year.
In 2017/18 we are continuing to look to provide a more efficient service with our main areas of focus being maintenance spend, service charges & costs and management costs, as outlined above.