The UK Social Value in Housing Taskforce

10/01/2020

HACT is delighted to announce the launch of the UK Social Value in Housing Taskforce.

“Over the last five years, social value measurement has been embraced by the social housing sector,” said Andrew van Doorn, Chief Executive of HACT. “Increasingly, sector leaders are moving beyond simply describing the impact that they have made, using social value to demonstrate their commitment to society, to local people and to the environment. They are using social value to inform business decisions, in procurement, regeneration and asset investment.

“Social values help social housing organisations to understand the impact they have made as anchor institutions on the lives of local people and communities, triggering new conversations about what matters most to them. Measuring social value is relatively new: we have come a long way in a short period of time. New roles have been created, analyses have been undertaken and reports written.  Yet we know we can take social value measurement even further.

“That’s why we’ve established the UK Social Value in Housing Taskforce: to take stock of where we’ve come to with social value measurement, as well as to discuss where we need to evolve in the future. Along with a range of experts from social housing organisations, membership bodies, the government and organisations dedicated to sustainability, we’ll be discussing how different metrics are used, reflect on practical considerations and challenges, and, crucially, explore the future opportunities this presents.”

Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group who are sponsoring the Taskforce, stated, “The UK Social Value Bank is a vital tool in allowing us to measure the difference we make to our residents and communities, and I’m proud to say that in 2018/19, our charitable foundation, Clarion Futures, delivered £125m in social value.

“We’re delighted to be part of this innovative taskforce which will allow the sector to continue to make a significant contribution to the social value measurement agenda.”

“Social landlords and their partners are looking to the future and asking us what more we can do together,” Andrew van Doorn continued. “It’s fitting that, as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we are working with experts inside and outside the sector to continue to develop value metrics that can demonstrate the full social value impact of the social housing sector.”

The UK Social Value Bank, developed by HACT and Simetrica, and supported by Clarion, remains the largest set of methodologically consistent social values in the world. Seeing how the values are being deployed in practice demonstrates their continued relevance.

We are now working on developing social value metrics, taking into account how societal changes in the last five years have impacted social housing’s work around poverty, homelessness, economic impact, exchequer benefits, procurement and environmental sustainability. Simultaneously, government is thinking about how to regulate social value reporting. And the financial community is looking to use social value measurements to support its future investment decisions.

The UK Social Value in Housing Taskforce will meet four times in the first six months of 2020, before producing a report celebrating the sector’s engagement with social value measurement and providing recommendations on next steps in research, development and practical use.

Editor’s notes

Members of the Taskforce are drawn from:

  • CHP
  • Clarion Housing Group
  • Community Housing Cymru
  • Engie
  • Fusion 21
  • Guinness
  • HACT
  • Keep Moat
  • L&Q
  • Longhurst
  • MHCLG
  • Morgan Sindall
  • NHF
  • Northern Housing Consortium
  • Places for People
  • PML Group
  • SFHA
  • Simetrica
  • Stockport Homes
  • Trowers
  • WHG

 

The UK Social Value Bank calculator has been downloaded from the HACT web site over 13,000 times. HACT has created three additional calculators to help organisations measure their Social Value impact around mental health, community asset transfers and community-led housing. We have supported countless housing associations in measuring the social value of their community initiatives and worked with councils, land trusts and developers to deploy social value measurement in the context of the built environment.

Social value measurement is now being used much more creatively. It is not only the preserve of community investment teams, it is being embraced by performance, finance and development teams to help influence policy, make decisions, improve services and demonstrate value for money. 

Social value advocates now work extensively within housing associations. A Government White Paper is likely to include regulatory frameworks that include social value measurement. Last year, a government consultation paper asked how social value can be strengthened in procurement.

More broadly, investors and lenders are increasingly thinking about impact investment. Social impact bonds are being used to tackle rough sleeping in Greater Manchester, and loans are being made to housing associations from lenders such as BNP Paribas to linked to delivery of key social impact indicators.

Many local authorities and other public organisations have adopted social value policies and have included social value criteria and weighting in their tenders.

 

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