Decanting, or temporary relocation of residents during housing association refurbishments or maintenance work, can be a costly process. This can be even more problematic when it comes to vulnerable and disabled tenants as there’s not always suitable accommodation for their needs and can come at an even greater cost when available.
It’s important that housing associations manage costs effectively to ensure that the process is not only financially viable but carried out fairly, transparently, and with the best interests of their residents at heart. Here are some key strategies for managing costs and avoiding unnecessary decants during housing association repairs or refurbishments:
- Establish a budget: Housing associations must set a realistic budget for the decant process, including the costs of temporary accommodation, storage, and any additional staffing needed to manage the process. A clear budget will help to ensure that costs are kept under control and that the process remains financially viable.
- Negotiate with contractors: Housing associations should negotiate with contractors to ensure that they provide the most cost-effective solution for the decant process. This can include minimizing the length of the works, scheduling work outside of peak periods, avoiding unnecessary decants and ensuring that work is carried out efficiently. The lack of decant options has been known to delay works historically, therefore providing a temporary kitchen/bathroom can alleviate issues that would’ve necessitated a decant.
- Consider cost-effective and innovative alternative accommodation: Housing associations should work to streamline the alternative accommodation process to reduce costs. This can include providing temporary on-site facilities for the residents to prevent unnecessary decants and extortionate alternative accommodation costs. If repairs or refurbishment is focused on one or two rooms, such as the kitchen and/or bathroom, temporary facilities are available that enable residents to remain in the comfort of their own home with minimal disruption, avoiding the inconveniences, stresses and costs associated to having to decant. The perfect solution for extra care schemes to suit the needs of vulnerable and disabled residents, filling the void of inaccessible properties.
- Reduce energy consumption: Housing associations can reduce energy costs by taking advantage of the available alternative accommodation solutions to carry out energy efficiency improvements. This can include installing new boilers, insulation, or double glazing, which will help to reduce energy bills for residents and contribute towards the UK’s climate targets.
- Monitor costs: Housing associations should monitor costs throughout the schedule of works to ensure that they are staying within budget. This can include regular reporting on spending, reviewing costs against the budget, and identifying areas where costs can be reduced.
- Prioritise value for money: Housing associations must prioritise value for money during the schedule of works. This means seeking the best possible solution for the cost and avoiding unnecessary expenditure. By prioritising value for money, housing associations can ensure that the alternative accommodation process remains sustainable in the long term.
Managing costs effectively is essential for housing associations during repairs or refurbishment. By setting a budget, negotiating with contractors, looking for innovative solutions, reducing energy consumption, monitoring costs, and prioritising value for money, housing associations can ensure that the alternative accommodation process remains financially viable and sustainable in the long term.
Find out more about how our temporary kitchens, bathrooms, accommodation and storage can help reduce costs for housing associations and enable your tenants to remain at home during refurbs or repairs.
Get in touch – [email protected] / 01244 888 299