Strength in numbers
Working in collaboration with other Approved Housing Bodies has enabled Clanmil to improve tenant services and make financial savings
GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT & REGENERATION
Pictured: Clanmil Homes' Valhalla sheltered housing scheme in Clondalkin, Dublin
Clanmil Ireland is a medium-sized Approved Housing Body (AHB). We own and manage more than 400 properties across the Leinster region and in the adjoining counties of Cavan and Monaghan. Over the past four years, we have almost doubled our stock and we plan to continue this growth as we play our part in meeting both current and future housing need. So how are we doing this?
Most of our expansion has been organic working in partnership with landowners and developers in delivering new housing schemes and this will remain our core focus. We have concentrated to date on smaller opportunities – generally developments of five to 50 homes – in accordance with our development strategy.
As the sector enters a period of consolidation, Clanmil is also keen to develop further links with other AHBs. In 2019, we entered an innovative collaborative arrangement with two other organisations, Oaklee and HAIL. This was to combine our day-to-day, planned and cyclical repairs service. The partnership has been in operation for two years and the benefits of this approach are now bearing fruit. Feedback from tenants across each of the organisations shows higher levels of satisfaction. In addition, the partnership has also produced financial savings for each AHB.
Also in 2019, we merged with an existing Tier 1 AHB, Léim an Bhradáin Housing Association (LABHA) based in Leixlip, County Kildare. LABHA owned and managed 32 homes in the town, with a team of five voluntary board directors looking after day-to-day operations. The increasing demands of running a voluntary housing association for the directors, all of whom had full-time work commitments, together with the advent of impending statutory regulation, drove the board to seek a merger partner.
“In 2019, we entered an innovative collaborative arrangement with two other organisations, Oaklee and HAIL. Feedback from tenants across each of the organisations shows higher levels of satisfaction. In addition, the partnership has also produced financial savings for each AHB.”
LABHA believed its tenants would be better served by a managing organisation that had the time and professional expertise to offer tenants a dedicated service. After speaking to a small number of AHBs, LABHA selected Clanmil. While completing the partnership process took a number of months more than both parties initially envisaged, both organisations were keen that existing tenants should benefit from a professional management approach as soon as possible. Clanmil immediately entered into a management agreement with LABHA, allowing us to provide a day-to-day tenant and property management service well in advance of the ultimate transfer.
From the outset, our commitment to the board of LABHA and its tenants was to offer an improved service. It was important to us that this was not just a vague promise but a firm pledge that we would deliver on our word. Taking the time to meet with each household at the earliest opportunity proved extremely beneficial as it gave us the chance to understand tenants’ individual needs and their requirements. From the tenants’ perspective, it offered them a first impression of Clanmil showing that we understood the importance of customer contact and personal interaction, and also allowing tenants the time and opportunity to discuss their individual issues.
These are just two examples of how across the sector we can come together to combine our resources through partnership, which can directly benefit the daily lives of our tenants. Clanmil is eager to explore other collaborative options, either through developing a shared service, managing and maintaining stock for another AHB, or entering into a more permanent arrangement, as we undertook with LABHA. If we are able to help improve services to tenants then we are committed to doing so in the most effective way that works for all parties.