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  • Writer's pictureBME National

Multiplying Success through Collaboration

Housing organisations continue to face immense pressures on their abilities to deliver high quality services to their customers.

There has never been a greater need for collaborative initiatives that enable organisations to tackle current challenges head-on. However, whilst collective working has proved extremely difficult in the sector, a group of fourteen BME housing associations have embarked on a series of joint projects that are starting to pay dividends.

Today marks the publication of a report from Altair, who were commissioned by this group to provide insights into the success of joint working and the progress made to date. The power of collaboration was highlighted by the fact that two new members joined the group during the project

The shared objectives of the project were to deliver enhanced value for money for residents, communities and organisations. Also delivering best practice for customers and the opportunity for them to access services that they would not be able to deliver alone, like employment support.

Gina Amoh Chair of BME Landlords (London) and Chief Executive of Inquilab Housing Association said; “This project has been built on a shared vision across the boards and executive leadership of the housing associations involved. We are proud to have achieved a level of trust and understanding from all members of the group. This is beginning to realise real benefits for our residents and local communities. The addition of two new members to the group is testament of the potential of collaborative working.”

The key conclusion is that collaborative working can deliver real savings and added value. This can manifest itself as saving up to 30% on procurement of legal services and 20% for utilities. It can also develop access to an employment service for residents pooled training and support amongst peers.

Altair partner Steve Douglas, who has worked with the group since the planning stages of the project said” Fundamentally the buying power of a successful collaboration is increased. But successful collaboration isn’t an easy feat. There have been a number of lessons learnt from the process which may be useful to others. These included leading from the top, remaining flexible and taking the time to build up trust. The prize of increased purchasing power and pooled learning is well worth the effort. The achievements so far have provided an important basis for the group to build trust and an opportunity to learn how to work together. This has meant that they now have foundations in place so that they can genuinely contemplate delivering larger-scale projects in the future.”

The group are setting their sights on collaborating on other areas. They have joined forces with L&Q, AmicusHorizon and the Roffey Park Business School, to design a leadership programme to create a sector wide scheme, Leadership 2025, to address BME underrepresentation in senior roles. The programme is set to launch in autumn 2017.

You can find out more about this collaboration by reading the full report, which is now available via the Altair website or Inquilab.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded from

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