The recent editorial from 24Housing Magazine was apocalyptic in its tone as it stated “While the rest of the UK economy is growing at a steady rate, housing associations are about to go into recession.”Read it here.
There is good reason for this outcry as welfare reforms and budget changes will soon begin to bite. From the introduction and continued roll out of Universal Credit, of which there is already anecdotal evidence of some housing associations predicting they will lose up to 35% of rent, as well as the bedroom tax and of course the July budget which announced social housing rent will lose its inflationary annual increases, being replaced by an annual 1% reduction for four years. All this has the look of a perfect storm that is going to affect many housing associations and ALMO’s as well as the services they are able to provide. So as the operating environment becomes increasingly difficult for housing associations it is also impacting their financial performance. In turn this will affect their financial KPIs, which financial institutions will scrutinise for credit worthiness and risk assessment.
As most organisations know there are only so many cuts they can make before some services become directly affected or untenable. So for many it is a case of trying to improve processes to drive efficiencies,where possible. Many housing associations have been able to reduce improve their KPIs by being proactive and using Mobysoft’s RentSense predictive analytics tool to identify at risk tenants and reduce arrears. This prevention rather than cure strategy has helped many reduce arrears, increase cash collection rates and of course boost cashflow. By maintaining and improving important KPIs housing associations can reassure lenders and financial institutions of their credit worthiness which in turn means they are able to get the investment required to build new stock and satisfactorily maintain existing stock.
You can see Mobysoft’s CEO, Derek Steele, discuss how Housing Associations can mitigate rent reductions and welfare reforms with predictive analytics at the Housing Finance National Conference on Wednesday 30th September in Central London.