Wales & West Housing Group Self-Evaluation 2023

All housing associations in Wales are regulated by Welsh Government and must follow the Regulatory Framework.

Every year, we must carry out a self-evaluation as part of our Regulation Judgement. It shows how we meet the 9 Regulatory Standards that all social landlords in Wales must meet.

The standards cover governance, service delivery and financial viability.

Our current self-evaluation is below, or you can download the document as a pdf.


Well-governed: This means to be led effectively and be well managed by boards, executives and staff. Working with residents and partners to make and implement effective business decisions.

Delivering high quality homes and services: This means providing homes and services that meet people’s diverse needs and expectations, with an emphasis on high quality services and continuous improvement.

Financially viable: This means having well-managed finances, and the resources and cash flow to meet current and future business commitments.

Our Self Evaluation

The self-evaluation is updated throughout the year and reported to Board every three years.

It focusses on resident priorities, business objectives and now the regulatory standards.

The self-evaluation has been reported to Board in this way for several years and has proved an effective and reliable way of showing high levels of performance and resident satisfaction.

We use a wide range of information to evidence our self-evaluation, including

  • performance measures
  • financial reports and forecasts
  • resident satisfaction and feedback
  • annual reports.

The Board reviewed the self-evaluation in July 2023 and agreed the contents to be provided to Welsh Government.

This document is a summary of how well we are delivering on the Regulatory Standards and sets out the areas where we plan to make improvements over the next year.

How we will improve

Regulatory Standard 1

Strategic leadership and governance

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We will implement a Board recruitment and succession plan for 2024
  • We will publish a summary of the Association’s priorities (every 6 months) and the changes made as a result of the feedback via InTouch

Full description of Regulatory Standard 1

Regulatory Standard 2

Robust risk management and assurance arrangements

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • The business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan help the business to see any potential threats in the event of an unplanned disaster. These have recently been tested and improvements will be used to update the plan.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 2

Regulatory Standard 3

High quality services are delivered to tenants

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We will review maintenance / servicing of Physical Adaptation grant installed equipment

Full description of Regulatory Standard 3

Regulatory Standard 4

Tenants are empowered and supported to influence the design and delivery of services

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We will produce guidance for staff on when and how to conduct consultation events for issues such as anti-social behaviour, major works delivery, site services delivery and community development events.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 4

Regulatory Standard 5

Rents and service charges are affordable for current and future tenants

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We follow all guidance and our rent arrears are low. However to make sure that we are doing everything we can, we will work with Community Housing Cymru and other social landlords to carry out a full review of Living Rents for Wales.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 5

Regulatory Standard 6

Strategic approach to value for money

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We are working on an in-house project to improve our systems from procurement to payment to make sure that we maximise value for money.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 6

Regulatory Standard 7

Financial planning and management

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • An in-house project to look at accounting and reporting systems is underway to make sure that all systems work well together.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 7

Regulatory Standard 8

Assets and liabilities are well managed

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We are working on putting in place an asset management system to further improve how we maintain homes and understand quality, safety, performance and investment required.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 8

Regulatory Standard 9

Providing high quality accommodation

To meet all areas of this standard:

  • We will be working on an update to our Asset Management strategy that will include fuel poverty elimination at its core.

Full description of Regulatory Standard 9

How Wales & West Housing is working to each Regulatory Standard

Regulatory Standard 1 – Strategic leadership and governance

  • Clear strategy reflecting vision, culture and values
  • Committed to equality diversity and inclusion (including anti-racism and tackling hate crime)
  • Makes logical decisions and complies with law and regulation

We have a business plan that outlines the vision, culture and values of the organisation and sets out the strategic priorities and actions to achieve its purpose.

The annual report showcases achievements over the year against the strategic priorities.

We carried out a governance review in 2022/23 against the Welsh Government Right Stuff report, Community Housing Cymru (CHC) Code of Governance and Wales & West Housing Group’s governing documents.

The Board has adopted the 2021 CHC Code of Governance and the review highlighted areas of improvement around Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

We have written a diversity and inclusion strategy to help us work towards achieving a more diverse inclusive organisation.

The governance review focused in part on Board member recruitment and succession planning.

We review how the Board is made up every year. There is a good mix of skills, experience and diversity on the Board which reflects the communities we serve.

The good mix means that decisions are robust, well discussed and logical.

The Resident Involvement Strategy was reviewed this year and is based on the listening to demand from residents and gather feedback on services provided. The views of many people are captured and understood.

Residents have consistently told us they wish to represent themselves, not be represented by a small group, they want to be involved in those matters that directly affect them which is why our approach has been developed and enshrined as part of the Wales & West Housing Group Way.

Regulatory Standard 2 – Robust risk management and assurance arrangements

  • Have a framework for risk management and manage current and emerging risk
  • Does not put social tenants or assets at undue risk

We have a comprehensive Board Assurance Framework which is based on the management of risk and performance.

It identifies the matters to be paid attention to, the controls to be applied and the reporting of outcomes.

The quarterly assurance and performance report provides the Board with evidence of financial and operational performance and risk management as well as identifying emerging risks.

The Board reviews its approach to risk every year.

Risk is considered as part of all Board decisions that involve new business ventures, developments, or major expenditure.

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are in place for Wales & West and set out the approach for the delivery of services if there were a major event or threat to the running of the business.

Regulatory Standard 3 – High quality services are delivered to tenants

  • Keeps tenants safe in their homes
  • Delivers services which meet the needs of tenants

Safety and compliance works are mainly undertaken by the in-house contractor, Cambria Maintenance Services, giving us full control over the areas of compliance.

Performance is very high and is reported to the Executive Director weekly/monthly and to Board every three months.

We use a model described as the WWHG Way. This means that services are tailored at point of delivery to meet the needs of every resident.

Staff are empowered to vary services as required and are provided with information about residents such as support needs, protected characteristics or the need for reasonable adjustments.

Staff are provided with training on different needs such as mental health and on ‘assumption busting’ to address conscious and unconscious bias.

Additional training will also be provided as part of the Diversity & Inclusion Improvement Plan.

To make sure that residents are happy with the services that they receive, we regularly survey residents. This is done in two ways – shortly after service is provided, such as a repair or planned works and annually as part of a larger telephone survey.

A summary performance report is available on our website and included as part of our In Touch magazine. This is one of the ways that we let residents know how the organisation is doing.

Resident satisfaction result in 2022:

  • overall satisfaction with services was 85%,
  • satisfaction with quality of the home was 86%
  • 90% felt safe and secure in their home

Regulatory Standard 4 – Tenants are empowered and supported to influence the design and delivery of services

The WWHG Way puts residents at the heart of the way the business is run. It is an integral part of all staff engagement and underpins the approach to service design, delivery and improvement.

Listening to many residents to understand what matters is fundamental to our culture.

The Get Involved “Have Your Say” section of the website helps residents to understand the organisation’s approach to resident involvement and the ways to get involved.

We also have a Resident Participation Steering Group who assist in guiding the approach to engagement.

The resident involvement strategy is based on what matters to residents. Through listening to demand from residents and getting their feedback on services, the views of many people are captured and understood. This helps us shape our services and introduce improvements.

The vast majority of residents are satisfied with the arrangements based on the results of the 2022 Resident Satisfaction Survey:

  • listens to views and acts on them (75%)
  • taking part in decision making (67%)
  • having a say in service management (70%)

The results are top quartile based on the Welsh Government report May 2023.

Regulatory Standard 5 – Rents and service charges are affordable for current and future tenants

Our rent policy is based on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) living rent model. This was developed after undertaking additional research understand the implications across different areas of Wales and for different groups of residents.

The rent policy has been applied to all new tenancies since April 2020 and is fully compliant with all applicable rules and statutory guidance.

Current arrears are:

2019 – 3.7%

2020 – 3.41%

2021 – 2.65%

2022 – 2.05%

2023 – 1.5% to date

Regulatory Standard 6 – Strategic approach to value for money

We have a well-established approach to Value for Money, which focuses on efficiency, resident satisfaction and maximising social value.

Information on value for money is included in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Performance measures provide information about efficiency, both organisationally and for specific areas such as the cost of kitchen renewals.

The performance report is presented to Board each quarter and to residents through the In Touch magazine.

The most recent resident satisfaction survey showed that 87% of residents were satisfied with value for money of their rent.

Regulatory Standard 7 – Financial planning and management

The Business Plan sets the financial plan for the coming five years and the management accounts and rolling forecast provide a quarterly update on how well we are performing financially.

The Board is told of our financial position at every meeting with the full accounts presented every three months.

Ensuring the availability of funds to meet short- and medium-term commitments is a risk that the Board has identified and monitor through the quarterly assurance and performance report.

The report along with the five-year business plan demonstrates the long-term strength of the Group and that sufficient funding is available to meet the business strategy.

The Board receive quarterly reports on compliance with the terms agreed with lenders including covenants, and we comply with all of these. We also set internal performance levels and Board are assured of these through the reports they receive.

As part of the Business Planning process, sensitivity and stress testing against a number of scenarios are carried out, as well as “perfect storm” testing to the breaking point.

The results of the stress testing are reported to Board to inform its decision making. The financial regulations set limits for staff before further authorisation is required to ensure a tight control on spending and help ensure the achievement of financial goals.

Regulatory Standard 8 – Assets and liabilities are well managed

An accurate and up to date Asset & Liabilities register is maintained and shows where records and information on our homes and other assets can be found. Key parts of the register are detailed in the quarterly management accounts.

All housing stock is reviewed every two years by the Asset Management Group, which includes all Executive Directors, housing and property senior managers and frontline staff.

The assessment includes a review of stock condition data, rent and lettings performance and local housing market information to inform asset investment and management decisions.

We hold lots of information on stock condition, adaptation and energy efficiency. This is used to develop a rolling three-year investment programme and helps inform about remodelling and disposals.

Regulatory Standard 9 – Providing high quality accommodation

We have an Asset Management Strategy which commits to effectively managing and investing in our homes to ensure both the value and suitability for residents is maintained.

The Board also receive a development update to each meeting about new homes and developments, as well as an annual report on WHQS compliance for its current stock.