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Sustain UK Delivering Good Value for Money

Supported housing provider Sustain UK has been benchmarked as delivering value for money whilst investing in improved accommodation.
Sustain UK Ltd

The Birmingham-based registered provider, that houses and supports vulnerable people across the West Midlands, has published the cost and value of its services using the Regulator of Social Housing’s Value for Money Standard, which measures how assets and resources are used.

Value for Money reports enable housing organisations to be transparent about their finances and demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of their services.

Sustain UK worked with independent consultants HQN to prepare the benchmarking figures that compare its financial performance with similar housing providers, and the report was independently audited by accountants Beever and Struthers.

The report reveals that Sustain’s accommodation and services in the 2022-23 financial year represented better value when compared to similar supported housing providers, despite Sustain UK making a significant investment in tenant services, recruitment and new IT.

Sustain also maintained its operating margin increase at just 1.3%, despite core inflation being above 5%.

When benchmarked, similar supported housing providers were shown to have increased their operating margins by an average of nearly 4.8% to 7.5% in the same period.

Sustain UK’s cost per-bed was £8,376, which was a below inflation increase of 0.7% on the previous year when Sustain’s cost per-bed was £8,312.

This compares well to other supported housing providers delivering similar services to Sustain, who achieved an average of £10,658 per bed, which is around 27% higher than Sustain’s figure.

Ian MacGregor, CEO of Sustain UK, said: “We want our Value for Money report to be a useful annual measurement and benchmarking tool that transparently demonstrates how we are performing financially as business.

I’m pleased that Sustain is delivering value for money when compared to the wider industry, because, in real terms, that translates into more money for our frontline services, and more vulnerable people supported and housed per-pound spent.

It demonstrates that supported housing providers can balance the books and meet people’s needs, as Sustain achieved Birmingham City Council’s Silver Status for accommodation and services, whilst having one of the lowest operating margins in their region.

Sustain currently has one of the lowest operating margins in the supported housing sector and the lowest in Birmingham City Council’s region.

Despite national economic uncertainty, rising costs and inflation, we have continued to strive to ensure our tenants feel safe and secure at home and invest in our inspection and support services.”

Ian concludes: “Sustain actively communicates its Value for Money metrics to tenants, and we work with tenants in a range of ways so that they can help to influence our future activities and we can make sure that they receive value for money in ways that matter to them.”

Sustain reports its Value for Money metrics in its Annual Report and Financial Statement in September each year.

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