Local is beautiful, finds GWSF Charter report
Landlord services provided by local community controlled housing associations outperform those of other social landlords, according to a new report from the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF).
Produced for GWSF by Scotland’s Housing Network (formerly Scottish Housing Best Value Network), the report compares performance across a range of key Scottish Social Housing Charter outcomes on services to tenants and wider value for money indicators. For the second year running, GWSF’s member associations scored more highly than other associations and local authorities.
Examples include the average 2.6 hours it took GWSF member associations to carry out emergency repairs, compared to four hours for other housing associations and six hours for councils.
Average relet times were 18 days, compared with 33 days for other associations and 41 days for councils.
Average rents, at £72.56, lay between the £84.15 figure for other associations and £66.34 for councils. GWSF believes this indicates a good balance between service quality, investment in stock, and affordability.
GWSF chair Peter Howden said: “We know that statistics can never tell the whole story, but once again our report strongly indicates that being a genuinely local landlord is the key to providing efficient and responsive services for tenants.
“There are still those who think there are too many small housing associations. But it might be better if people who worry about this spend more time thinking about why our members can relet property twice as fast as other social landlords.
“Again this year we’ve found that despite outperforming other landlords on the hard statistical indicators, the tenant satisfaction scores are much closer. This could suggest that our tenants have high expectations and are generally used to a good service. But we also think it’s no coincidence that on these softer measures, which are more subject to landlords choosing varying methodologies, the position looks different, albeit with our members still scoring highly.”