We specialise in the housing association sector and believe that risk management should support the sector to deliver a greater social contribution, particularly in relation to housing supply. Risk management should drive an increase in the capacity of the sector to help people in housing need by focussing on the achievement of strategic objectives, reducing unexpected losses and enabling associations to respond to adverse scenarios.

We believe that, for risk management to be effective, it must be linked to the objectives of the organisation, both strategic and operational, with risks being defined accordingly. Having identified these potential adverse outcomes, we must also document their potential causes, together with any possible consequential risks, in order to agree an appropriate set of controls. Using this approach we have developed a set of standard risks for the housing association sector, together with a number of best practice controls for each of them. These are both regularly reviewed and updated, as well as being incorporated into our demist risk management software.

As housing associations are now expected to take more risks, and risks of a different nature to those that they have been used to managing, there is an increasing need for a clear and comprehensive statement of risk appetite. We believe that this should cover all of the material risk areas of the business, with qualitative statements for each type of risk supported by metrics specifying minimum and maximum levels of activity or risk exposure. This statement should include a target credit grade, together with a minimum rating to be achieved in adverse scenarios, which can be tested using the credit assessment model we have developed with THFC.

In an increasingly volatile risk environment, it is particularly important to keep up to date with political, economic, demographic and technological changes that affect the housing world. We monitor these changes and report on them to the organisations subscribing to our membership service through the monthly HRS Review magazine. Each edition also includes commentary and guidance on how to respond to the emerging situation.

We recognise the need to improve value for money in the sector and deliver a cost-effective service by sharing the cost of our research between the members.


words of wisdom

"There are risks and costs to a program of action.  But they are far less than the long range costs and risks of comfortable inaction."

John F Kennedy




Hargreaves Risk and Strategy