• Aster Group’s economic impact assessed for 2017/18 by Development Economics shows a contribution of £210 million to the economy
  • Group’s economic impact is proportionally much higher (10 per cent) than the rest of its sector
  • Housing association provides 3,333 jobs across the construction and management of homes in the South
  • Aster spent £30.4 million on improvements to its customers’ homes and £648,000 was invested in community projects

 

A new report has found that local housing association, Aster Group, contributes nearly £210 million to the UK economy and 10 per cent more financial impact than other players in its sector.

The Group’s economic impact report (EIR) covers the financial year 2017/18 and measures the success of its strategy to build new homes and provide vital services to its communities.

Aster owns, develops and manages 30,000 residential properties across the south of England, where the need to deliver a large number and variety of homes to a range of people with varying financial circumstances, is critical.

To calculate the true economic impact of its activities, Aster enlisted the help of Development Economics Ltd, a market analysis consultant that specialises in measuring the impact of organisations’ economic impact in the areas where they operate.

Its assessment of the Group’s economic impact is based on a range of data from across the business including; turnover, profit, salaries and employment levels from Aster’s annual statement of accounts for 2018, alongside information on its procurement activity, to understand its impact across Wiltshire and the UK.

In the 12 months to April 2018, Aster built 939 homes across the south, generating more than £200m in turnover and seeing its pre-tax profits rise 12 per cent year-on-year to £50m. Aster has been able to build on its financial success and deliver homes that meet its social obligations – 89 per cent of the homes built were for social or affordable rent, or affordable ownership options such as shared ownership.

In 2017/18, Aster spent £30.4 million on improvements to its customers’ homes and £648,000 was invested in community projects.

The report found that the economic impact of its property management activities is proportionally much higher (10 per cent) than the average for the residential property management sector, which includes private sector landlords and management firms, local authorities and housing associations.

Bjorn Howard, group CEO of Aster Group said: “As you’ll see in this report, we have made significant headway in meeting challenges head-on. Each year we set a new record for housebuilding across an ever-increasing geography in the south of England. We provide thousands of jobs across the region and have supported the local economy to the tune of £208 million in 2017/18.

“We’re driven by our vision of ensuring everyone has a home. To us, economic strength is a vital part of our business. We’re a not-for-dividend business rather than a not-for-profit organisation. We want to create profit. We reinvest it entirely in our business and it allows us to create even more homes and provide new services to customers.

“Our £2bn development pipeline is creating a housing portfolio that doesn’t just help those on the lowest incomes but supports those who are now shut out by the private rented and ownership markets. We’ve increased our shared ownership delivery over the past five years and are now viewed as a leader in the sector in how we offer the product to people in our communities.

“The wider political context has rightly challenged housing associations to build more homes. Our position in society – building something so essential – brings with it, scrutiny. So, in our view, it will become increasingly important for organisations like ours to demonstrate how they are acting virtuously and responsibly. This report is part of our commitment to doing so.”

Stephen Lucas, director at Development Economics, said: “Our study found that Aster contributes significantly to the regional economies of the south of England, through both its construction activity and also via the day-to-day management of its portfolio.

“Development activity is particularly important in terms of employment, with around 1,500 jobs supported either directly or via supply chains. These jobs range from those in building trades through to professional services and haulage. Moreover, the day-to-day activities are estimated to support more than 1,800 jobs directly and indirectly.

“In terms of value-added, we found that Aster contributes nearly £210 million to the UK economy, including around £150 million every year via property management activities. This is a very substantial contribution and is above-average for its sector.”

The award-winning housing association’s purpose and its presence is quantifiable, and by developing an accurate picture of its economic impact, Aster Group can create a platform from which to enhance and grow the good it does across the country.  

To read the full report, click here