Value For Money

At Arawak Walton we have had another busy year ensuring we achieve and improve our value for money. For the second year running, most of our tenants had a 1% rent cut. This means that our rents offer even better value for money than rents in the private sector. This difference ranges from approximately £45 per week for our homes in Manchester to a massive £56 per week for those in Trafford. They are set to fall further over the next two years. We continue to increasingly use text and email to communicate with our tenants, which is both much quicker and also more cost effective. Where we need to send out big mail outs, we use the services of a specialist company, which costs much less than sending it ourselves. We have also re-launched our website and this allows tenants to get information about their rent and repairs directly over the web, twenty four hours a day without the need to call us.

To pay for the rent reduction over the course of the next four years, we had to make some difficult decisions. One of those was to minimise pay increases for our staff for the four years starting in April 2016. Another difficult decision was to end our programme of only acquiring properties to let at social rent and instead mainly acquire properties to let slightly below market rent. Social rent properties have not been funded with new grant for a number of years and most housing associations are replacing many of their social rent properties with higher cost affordable rent ones.
Despite these challenges, we were still able to buy the freehold of 33 properties we had previously leased and also to provide a further 27 homes in 2016-17, mainly by working in partnership with other housing associations and local authorities. During the course of the year we replaced 21 kitchens, 22 bathrooms, 18 windows and 65 boilers. Our modern boilers use much less gas, which saves our tenants money. They are also less likely to break down, which saves our tenants’ time and saves us the cost of repairs. The new boilers are also much better for the environment as they produce less carbon dioxide. New windows require much less painting than old wooden ones and also help reduce heating bills. Many of these replacement items have been bought direct from the manufacturers, and have saved the expense of paying a middleman, meaning we can buy more for our money. We constantly work to improve our value for money and we have plans to do this over the course of the next year. A copy of our full value for money self assessment for 2016-17 is available on our website

Read our 2017 VFM Report