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Issue 9. December 2018
Merry Christmas contact.firstname and welcome to your HouseMark update.

Responding to a new regulatory environment – introducing our Embedding Excellence Programme

Following proposals for a new Regulatory Framework from the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR), we know that the new framework will be implemented in April 2019. We know that following feedback from the discussion paper earlier this year the SHR plans to streamline the framework so that all regulatory information will be contained in one source.

Key to HouseMark Scotland members is the proposal to review the Scottish Social Housing Charter indicators as well as the commitment from SHR to find new ways to make more data available to more people. SHR is proposing to remove 26 existing indicators, add four new ones and amend the wording of others. The proposed changes can be found here. Other key proposals include introducing the requirement for all landlords to produce Annual Assurance Statements and a new regulatory status to be given to every landlord.

To support the sector to respond to the new regulatory environment, we are launching our new Embedding Excellence Programme. This will focus on three elements: culture; assurance and customer voice; supporting organisations on their journey to excellence in these key business areas.

A pilot of the Programme will be delivered in January 2019 with intentions for a full launch in March 2019. We are now taking expressions of interest for the pilot.

Our Embedding Excellence Programme will support organisations with the development of annual assurance statements. This will be in line with current SHR plans to co-produce a toolkit with sector bodies to help governing bodies and local authority committees understand their assurance role. The Programme will also support organisations to demonstrate that Boards and committees have relevant and up-to-date skills and knowledge.

We know SHR’s response remains risk-based and will continue to rely on social landlords to monitor their own performance and continuous improvement. There is an expectation that the new regulatory framework will refresh SHR’s relationship with governing bodies in organisations as they have the clear responsibility for ensuring that their organisation is compliant with the regulatory standards.

The Embedding Excellence Programme is being shaped now and the pilot period will ensure our solution meets the needs of our members in line with new regulatory requirements. To register your interest to be part of the pilot, please contact

Sector Scorecard 2018 report published 

Designed to support the sector to compare performance at the highest level, the Sector Scorecard report adds value to a suite of existing data analysis and comparison tools that together allow for both financial and consumer standard reporting, creating a complete performance narrative that can be explained and evidenced to tenants, colleagues, the regulator and wider sector stakeholders.

You can download the UK version of the report here and the Scotland version here.

Introducing the next generation performance analysis solution

For many years HouseMark members have been able to compare aggregate key performance indicators (KPIs) quarterly with other providers, across a range of headline measures such as arrears, average re-let time and repairs appointments kept.

Analysing this aggregate performance information against a landlord’s profile and context helps provide some insight into what is driving performance. For example, we know from the data that a high proportion of housing for older people is likely to result in lower levels of arrears.

But there are two significant limitations with comparing aggregate level performance:

1. Comparisons by location (such as local authority) are difficult, particularly with a growing number of landlords operating a wide geographic spread of units
2. Detailed analysis is limited to the profile information you have at a landlord level, and the impact of tenant and property characteristics is hard to assess

In light of this and in line with customer feedback, HouseMark has developed the next generation tool for performance comparisons – property level performance. We are currently piloting this innovative solution with our members and are looking for volunteers to take part. Participation is included within your membership fee.

Find out more here and register your interest to participate by emailing

Meet the leadership team
Over the last few weeks we have welcomed three new members of our team to HouseMark. Our ambitious and energetic leadership team is more than happy to hear from you!

Our leadership team includes:

Laurice Ponting – Chief Executive – leading on strategy, policy and thought leadership 

Neville Carter – Director of Customer Services – overseeing customer services, membership subscriptions, data analysis and marketing 

Arturo Dell – Director of Technology and Innovation – responsible for our technology and digital platform development as well as designing and developing new products and solutions 

Paul Moss – Finance Director – overseeing people and financial resources - 

Amanda Leonard – Associate Director HouseMark Consultancy – leading on the delivery and development of our consultancy arm -

We have also strengthened our data and analytics team as we welcomed Harry Kanda as the new head of data analysis and research as Jonathan Cox moves to his new role of deputy director business intelligence to spearhead our data modernisation and innovation programme.

HouseMark Scotland is moving

The HouseMark Scotland team is moving offices and from the 3 January 2019 will be based at Hanover Scotland Head Office, 95 McDonald Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4NS. You can still contact the team via our website, or via email

Why is building a home so complex?

History tells us that people built their own houses if they were poor and when the house fell down, they would find stones, earth, turf, heather and thatch to rebuild it. These houses were organic, with very local materials, and can still be seen today, scattered across the landscape of Scotland.

But they had no windows, no ventilation, no insulation and no space, and although perhaps very romantic, would not be considered ‘fit for purpose’ in today’s world of space, building regulations, EESSH and all the different standards. We now expect homes to be built robustly and to provide safe shelter for our families.

This means the number of people involved in any building project has grown dramatically, especially over the last 30 years. Issues such as contamination, SUDS, fire suppression, EESSH and sound insulation have brought a whole new set of regulators, consultants and contractors to be involved in any development project. This has been with the best of intentions but results in increased cost and complexity.

So, how could we simplify this? Read more from Susan Napier, the club manager of our new development club here.

Sector leading inspection solution hits 800 user milestone!

Since the official launch of HouseMark’s Photobook app and portal in late 2016, the online inspection solution has gone from strength to strength. Due to the flexibility and accessible nature of Photobook, there are now over 800 users across the UK, all able to create bespoke templates and reporting in line with their individual organisation’s ambitions.

The success of the app and portal is, in part, due to the affordable pricing and ease of use. No need for weeks of training, or specialist in-house teams, existing frontline colleagues are easily adopting Photobook to streamline their inspection processes, saving time and duplication of work.

So why are so many using Photobook? Find out more here.


Whilst our 2018 events programme has almost drawn to a close, with only a couple of club events left to deliver, we are already planning 2019.

Housing Data and Analytics Summit 2019
1 October 2019, Birmingham

After this year’s hugely successful Summit, we are already planning 2019’s event. Over 100 people attended the day in 2018 and we plan to grow the event for next year.

To be the first to receive event updates, booking information and speaker details, register your interest with our events manager, Tina Reid at

Specialist Clubs 2019
We will be sending renewals out to Specialist Club members over the next few weeks – look out for an email soon. Be sure to renew your place promptly to secure your club membership and renew at 2018 prices. For more information about Clubs, or to discuss your renewal, please contact Monika Gouws at  

Launching our new Information Security Forum
Calling all IT, security and data leaders! Introducing our new Information Security Forum – a place for key people from housing associations to come together to discuss issues around cyber security and governance.

The Forum will be linked to the cyber security experts in central government via the WARP (Warning Advice and Reporting Point) mechanism. We know there’s nothing quite like it out there for housing associations at the moment, so it’s an exciting time to get involved.

As a member of the Forum you will benefit from best practice sharing, being part of a community of experts for GDPR and related activity, learning and sharing in a safe, confidential way and access to new systems and solutions that can improve working practices.

If you would like to know more about the Forum, please contact Elaine Middleton at