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GERSHON CHALLENGE FOR HOUSING PROFESSIONALS

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Developing new ways to generate efficiency savings in year two of The Gershon Review is the greatest challenge faci...
Developing new ways to generate efficiency savings in year two of The Gershon Review is the greatest challenge facing housing professionals. That's according to 41% of housing associations and housing departments polled in a survey commissioned by software suppliers IBS OPENSystems.

A further 32% identified that channeling the right level of resource into achieving efficiency targets is a major pressure and that the Decent Homes Standard in particular has distracted efforts and resources from other priorities.

Maintaining housing repairs and stock poses the greatest threat to effective housing stock management according to 40% of those surveyed. Reducing rent void times and delivering affordable housing are the greatest headache according to 36% and 32% respectively.

When it comes to sharing information with other departments, 35% feel that lack of clarity in the Data Protection Act combined with a lack of understanding about what processes need to be implemented are hindering a truly joined up approach.

Martyn Rees, director of housing, IBS OPENSystems, said:

'Housing professionals face unprecedented change in the various agendas currently underway in the sector and it is hardly surprising that they are feeling the heat. Making consistent savings in line with the Gershon Review is becoming tougher, particularly against a backdrop of Decent Homes Standard and drive towards sharing information with social services departments.

'IT has an integral role to play in helping to make the savings and service improvements set out in these reforms. But it is important to remember that these agendas are not one-offs - they set the pace for a new way of working and those who dismiss the importance of IT simply will not prosper in this new environment.'

About IBS OPENSystems plc

IBS OPENSystems plc delivers software systems and related services to housing providers and local authorities across the UK. Previously IBS (Public Services) Ltd, the company is now an AIM listed company, having been bought and floated by Numis Securities Limited, an investment banking and institutional stockbroking business, in March 2005.

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