At the beginning of 2009, the Tenant Services Authority’s pink campervan pushed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) firmly to the top of the affordable housing agenda. Considering who our stakeholders were, their relative importance and the strength of their voices was key. Residents too began to speak up about what they felt was most important in good service delivery.
The start of 2011 brought a new CSR. This time standing for Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), it appeared time and time again in the media. But these two CSRs seemed at odds – the latter looking at cutting the money we spend on the societies we work amongst, while the former often perceived as an expensive exercise to understand the social and environmental impact of business activity. It seemed a joke that a Google search for ‘CSR’ returned three pages of results on Corporate Social Responsibility when the sector was being asked to make deep cuts.
However, as the Government’s spending cuts bite and maintenance services need to do more for less, it turns out these two CSRs are complimentary. Unless we identify our stakeholders and how they need to benefit from any activity, then it is inevitable that our time, effort and money will be wasted. Recession brings tighter budgets and new opportunities in equal proportion, giving us the incentive to see business review as critical. As we respond and review our spending, corporate social responsibility and residents opinions need to be influencing our decisions.
The role of the National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF) is to promote good practice in building maintenance. In 2011 this means pulling together the lessons learnt over 30 years of affordable housing in order to help you improve the quality and the efficiency of your maintenance service delivery.
This edition o the NHMF bulletin brings together articles and case studies looking a how different stakeholders can join together t raise performance throughout the sector.
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