Aster Group delivers a quarter billion in value to UK economy

Housing association Aster Group delivered close to a quarter of a billion pounds in economic value and created over 3,000 jobs in its 2020/21 financial year, according to a new report from research agency Development Economics.

The study calculated that the Group’s housebuilding and property management activities delivered £238.5m in value to the UK economy and created 3,305 jobs in its operational areas during the 12 months to April 2021. This included more than 1,000 job opportunities for people not directly employed by Aster.

Development Economics used data provided by Aster on its turnover, profit, salaries, employment and procurement to quantify its impact across the UK. The data was used to calculate the monetary value – gross value added (GVA) – and number of direct and indirect job opportunities Aster created for the economy.

Aster increased its total GVA by 13% compared to 2019, when Development Economics carried out a similar study.

Bjorn Howard, Aster Group chief executive officer, said: “To know that we improved our overall economic value during the height of the pandemic is an immense achievement for our colleagues across the business. But it is vital that we continue to transform and evolve how we manage, maintain and improve our customers’ homes. Measuring and demonstrating the value of this work in our communities is essential to ensuring we fulfil our social purpose.

“In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, continuing to build more homes and enhancing our offer to customers is as important now as it has ever been. A housing association’s value should encompass much more than simply the number of homes it builds, or number of customers it has and should be about focusing on bringing even more social benefit to our communities as a whole.”

The association, which owns and manages over 35,000 homes across the south of England, built 928 homes in 2020/21 and during that year invested £55m (£54.7m) in making more than 93,000 maintenance and enhancement visits to customers’ homes – including external decorations, new kitchens and living room upgrades.

Aster Group also raised more than £50,000 for community projects and charities, invested £600,000 in apprenticeship training and generated £3.28million in social value by nurturing green spaces. (Click here for DHLUC Green space land value appraisal guidance.)

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