Clúid Housing’s Annual Report 2019

Today sees the launch of Clúid Housing’s Annual Report 2019. It has been a record year for Clúid who now support almost 20,000 residents in 7,583 homes.

In the Annual Clúid Housing report, Chairperson Mark Shakespear made the following statement,

“Clúid provides quality housing and services for a diverse range of people across Ireland. Our team works closely with residents to establish roots, building communities and lifelong friendships.

2019 was a record year for delivery, with 721 good quality homes provided to over 2,100 people in housing need across Ireland. This strong result is a testament to the dedication of Clúid’s operational team and the excellent partnerships the organisation fosters across local authorities, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), the Housing Finance Agency (HFA), the Housing Agency, local communities, other Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) and developers.

2019 provided us with ample opportunity to celebrate the success that Clúid has enjoyed over the past 25 years, reminding us at the same time that our greatest achievements lie ahead. Our organisation has an ambitious vision of a society where everyone has a great place to live. On behalf of the board, I would like to commend Clúid’s management team for their dedication and commitment to this vision over the past 25 years. Together with the entire Clúid team, we now look forward to the next chapter with renewed confidence and an acknowledgement that we are having a real impact through our work. With the recent launch of Clann already Ireland’s largest dedicated age-friendly housing provider – Clúid will continue to lead the way in providing specialist housing solutions to people over the age of 55.

Good governance is at the heart of Clúid’s business. In 2018, Clúid established a new committeebased governance structure, designed to streamline how our board operates and to ensure that it remains strategically focused. This new structure is functioning effectively. Throughout 2019, the board undertook a number of best practice governance activities aimed at strengthening our business. Identifying areas for improvement formed part of this process. This was an opportunity for the organisation’s leadership to provide feedback on the workings of the board and its committees. Independent analysis of this feedback concluded that overall, Clúid’s board is effective and functions well.

In August, the board formally approved the adoption of our amended Memorandum and Articles of Association. This action was conducted in response to the new Governance Standard for Approved Housing Bodies, which saw changes required by the Companies Act 2014, the Charities Regulatory Authority and the Revenue Commissioners. Changes were also necessary so that Clúid would have the requisite borrowing powers to access alternative, sustainable sources of funding in the future.

The board approved the Business Plan (2019 – 2022) and a number of important strategies in 2019. Our Procurement Strategy was approved in April. It aims to standardise procurement across Clúid and increase compliance and efficiency in procurement practices. The implementation phase of the strategy is now well underway and many improvements in our procurement practices have become standardised and embedded.

In August, the board also approved and assumed responsibility for ensuring the delivery of Clúid’s Value for Money Strategy. In order to ensure effective governance of this strategy, a number of financial and service performance measures have undergone review and development and will now provide enhanced information to the board.

Clúid welcomed, and indeed strongly advocated for an important regulatory development in 2019. On Christmas Day, the President signed into law the legislation placing the regulation of the AHB sector on a statutory footing for the first time. Although the Regulator’s Board and CEO have yet to be appointed, this legislation will not only assist Clúid and other AHBs in attracting private finance and monitoring the financial stability of the sector – it will also monitor performance in the provision of services and the governance of the sector.

This contrasts disappointingly with the lack of progress in reversing the CSO’s decision to reclassify Tier 3 AHBs as being on the government’s balance sheet and the slow progress being made on a viable model for intermediate and affordable rental. Clúid continues to advocate for an action plan on both of these issues.

As one of Ireland’s leading AHBs, Clúid spearheaded the establishment of a performance benchmarking group, together with the other members of the Housing Alliance in 2019. The first return for the group focused on 2018 performance. This was followed by a series of review meetings.

As a business, Clúid acknowledges benchmarking as an important tool to better understand and improve performance and to exchange knowledge with other housing providers. Internally, Clúid reviewed its Performance Management Framework in 2019 with a view to ensuring close alignment of our measures with the strategic objectives of the organisation and demonstrating our commitment to
the Regulation Office’s Performance Standard. We have also enhanced communication on performance, including bi-monthly updates to employees and an annual performance report for our residents.

Clúid is governed by a voluntary board of directors. 2019 marked the beginning of my tenure as chair of that board. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank both our current and recently retired board members for their valued contribution and commitment to Clúid’s vision. I would especially like to thank my predecessor, Fiona Barron for her commitment to embedding Clúid’s governance
structures into the very fabric of the organisation. Fiona leaves behind a legacy that will enable our current board, our employees and all our partners to continue to deliver on our mission. As we look to the future, I would also like to welcome our three newly appointed board members.

We are currently faced with new challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on us all and it will take time for some of the once familiar aspects of daily life to return. However, despite the uncertain impact of recent restrictions, Clúid remains fully committed to supporting the government’s programme of housing delivery. Clúid is a resilient and innovative organisation that has resolved many challenges in its 25-year history. Our employees are dedicated and professional and we will endeavour to find innovative solutions to the immediate challenges that lie ahead.”

For The full report click HERE

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