Comment: Do you measure up?

Understanding social value is an essential part of value for money. Here are five reasons why housing providers use the UK Social Value Bank.

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Social housing providers are all about social value. They deliver much needed affordable homes, invest in communities, provide care and support and help improve lives.

At their core is a strong social purpose, with values to match. And now there’s a way to measure their social impact.

The values have been developed with the social housing sector in mind

HACT, Simetrica and social housing providers have created the UK-SVB together. It directly addresses the work they do and the outcomes they achieve. Later this year the UK-SVB will exceed 100 values, the largest bank in the world. The values are recognised by funders, the government, local authorities and an increasing number of contractors and voluntary sector partners.

Demonstrating value for money

Using the UK-SVB and Calculator allows for the first time to compare like with like – by being able to demonstrate how much social impact is generated, expressed in £s, of different activity and outcomes.  This information is useful for boards, the regulator and management teams. Simply put; it answers the difficult question of what social return are we getting for our money.

The UK Social Value Bank is person-centred

The UK-SVB takes into account the impact of activities on people’s wellbeing. It isolates factors which drive how satisfied, happy and worthwhile people feel about themselves. The more social housing providers understand these factors the more effective our social impact will be. It’s about real people and real lives. What could be better to help raise customer satisfaction levels?

Helping decision-making

Use of the Social Value Calculator helps organisations to understand what they could do better. Ratio of cost to benefit can be monitored, it allows organisations to choose what is more valuable, five jobs created or 20 people going through training courses?. The Social Value Calculator can help you decide.

Social housing providers can use new information to challenge themselves. Do we want to focus our activities on a large number of people producing small impacts or a small number of people achieving large impacts?

Getting more from the supply chain

Using the UK-SVB and Calculator helps organisations to communicate clearly expectations to contractors. The values provide a common language which can be used in contract specifications and tenders. Tender submissions can now be judged objectively and fairly.

Use of the UK-SVB and Calculator is free for social housing providers.

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