29 Jan 2020

Housing providers meeting local needs

Property asset management by region

Written by Kate Mulligan, Director - SPM Assets LLC 

All over the world, housing providers have the same overarching goal – creating decent homes that provide the basics of comfort, healthfulness and livability.

While the mission may be similar, the approach to property asset management can vary greatly from region to region, with condition and performance standards focusing on quite different goals. For example, New Zealand is highly focused on ensuring housing stock is warm and dry, while New York City focuses on sustainability. This reflects how regional environments influence housing design standards and the importance that maintaining a quality housing stock has on the well-being of tenants – the homes in New Zealand and Australia are commonly drafty with no insulation and don’t provide central heating. By contrast, in the United Kingdom and in New York City homes are well heated – but inefficient heating systems within poorly sealed buildings result in a massive energy footprint.

To provide a quality home, there are many challenges providers need to overcome – in nearly all cases, the existing housing stock fails to meet the ever-increasing standards set by governing bodies and regulators. Funding, varying expectations from different stakeholders, and ensuring the assets are compliant, are examples of the ever-shifting environment housing providers need to consider.

Key drivers by region

Below we’ve provided examples of common high-level objectives and supporting standards in four countries. The table shows some common themes, while also highlighting the differences in property asset management approaches.


These objectives and standards drive significant works-programs to address the current and future shortfalls that place communities at risk. Where we need houses to be dry, warm, secure and sustainable, we are seeing it costing more and more with less and less funding. The result is that houses and living conditions are deteriorating – housing providers are struggling to catch up, especially if their policies are more reactive than planned.

Summary

For most low-cost housing providers anywhere in the world, the mission is to provide safe, sustainable and affordable housing. Differences in cultural expectations, local compliance laws, funding, the state of existing housing and even the weather mean the approach to those aims would be different. However, comparing property asset management methods, successes and mistakes can give each region a better idea of how to reach its goal of providing affordable housing that’s appropriate for its communities.

Click here to read about how one of our customers enhanced their property asset management for a thriving community.  

[1] Housing Quality Standard
[2] UK housing: Fit for the future
[3] Tamaki Redevelopment Corporation
[4] National Housing and Homelessness Agreement
[5] Integrated Physical Needs Assessment
[6] Decent Homes Standard
[7] National Guidelines for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
[8] Enterprise Green Communities
[9] Housing Health & Safety Rating System
[10] Healthy Homes
[11] Livable Housing Australia

Subscribe to our Broadcast

Our monthly newsletter featuring asset management tips and insights, and the latest SPM Assets news.