Financial and social return in housing asset management: theory and practice of Dutch housing associations

VH Gruis, NET Nieboer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


    In recent years, as part of developments towards a more business-like management in social housing, there has been widespread interest in performance measurement in the social rented sector. However, social landlords differ from `regular¿ enterprises because the emphasis lies on the fulfilment of social objectives instead of financial return, although the latter is of importance as well (in terms of economic efficiency). Because of this multiplicity in their objectives, social landlords have to make difficult deliberations on the basis of factors that are hard to measure and to compare - factors which can be placed under the general headings of social and financial return. Our paper discusses how financial and social return can be measured in relation to the asset management in Dutch housing associations. We theoretically describe and assess the concepts of financial and social return and the indicators that can be used to measure them, focussing on decision-making concerning the management of the housing stock. Furthermore, we discuss the current practice on the basis of the results of an explorative survey among nine housing associations. Our survey shows that practice varies considerably among the investigated associations. As far as the measurement of financial return is concerned, a few associations act in accordance with the theoretical `ideal¿. Many associations still follow a traditional book-keeping approach, which is not suitable for supporting asset management decisions. As far as social return is concerned, our survey indicates that associations collect a lot of data, but do not really evaluate their performance by comparing their output against preset targets or benchmarks.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationENHR International Housing Conference: Housing, Growth and Regeneration
    EditorsC Whitehead
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Publication series

    PublisherUniversity of Cambridge


    • Conf.proc. > 3 pag

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