This research examines social housing asset management (AM) in Australia and develops a best practice framework that outlines AM processes and criteria for making decisions; reflects the unique aspects of social housing; is flexible enough to be used by different types of social housing providers; provides metrics to drive organisational excellence; and provides the basis for national regulation and policymaking.
Social housing is a distinct asset subclass with unique AM challenges. Best practice asset management (BPAM) reflects a life-cycle approach to managing assets, which puts the social housing tenant at the centre of provision. It requires a whole-of-organisation commitment embedded through data collection and analysis, integration of systems and continuous improvement.
The fundamental reason why SHOs are unable to maintain, renew and configure stock to meet current and future demand is inadequate revenue flow. SHO revenue flow is highly constrained by tenant profile and target groups—that is, households in receipt of very low incomes. From an AM perspective, inadequate and unstable revenue flow works against long-term planning, maximisation of asset life and equity of service provision.
The research finds that social housing AM is in need of reform. If SHOs are to take responsibility for acquiring, maintaining, upgrading, renewing and redeveloping housing stock and establishing themselves as sound asset managers, then the social housing sector needs to be informed by best practice asset management. Ultimately, all SHOs would adopt Strategic Asset Management Plans (AMPs) based on the international AM standard — ISO 55000. BPAM is the only way by which critical risks can be addressed. A BPAM Framework for social housing can guide such work.