Unfortunately the knee-jerk reaction to a crisis described in “Rok and Connaught force repairs in-house” (11 February, page 12), is typical of housing associations, and is driving the provision of an in-house repairs team.
Coupled with the rise in VAT, the arguments for an in-house provision are compelling. But does this really address the issue? I agree with Jeffrey Adams of United House, when he questions the ability of housing associations to manage a repairs service.
We are currently involved in procuring an “in-sourcing” solution for a local authority, effectively bringing together the experience of a commercial partner in managing an in-house team.
There are less risky solutions than direct in-sourcing and during these times, other options merit consideration.
Notwithstanding the fact an in-sourcing solution would still present the benefits of VAT savings with the added benefit of the expertise of a commercial partner to drive improved and sustained performance.
Neil Thody, managing director, Cameron Consulting