Home Group reveals £16m spending as first landlord to publish data
One of the country’s largest housing associations has detailed £16 million of spending for the first month of 2011, including £114,000 on mobile phones alone.
This week Home Group became the first association to publish data on all its spending over £500 following the government’s call for social landlords to become more transparent.
The data reveal the landlord could end up spending £700,000 a year on mobile phone contracts for some of its 3,500 full-time staff.
Half of the £114,000 phone bill for January was a delayed charge from the end of 2010.
Home also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants, developers and utility companies in January.
The association manages 52,000 homes and has a turnover in excess of £310 million. Its decision to publish spending has provoked worries among other social landlords.
Representative body The National Housing Federation is concerned obeying government demands for increased transparency might damage housing associations’ status as private bodies, and push £40 billion of private debt onto the public sector balance sheet.
Mark Henderson, chief executive at Home Group defended the move, saying: ‘Being transparent won’t always be easy or comfortable. But at a time when everyone is feeling the effects of an extremely challenging economic environment we need to demonstrate we can deliver more for less, and be big enough to justify the spending decisions we’re making.’
Shopping list: What Home spent in January
Traderisks (financial advisor)
Willmott Dixon (developer)
Stannah Stair Lifts
Middlesex Radio Cars (taxi company)
Eden Brown Ltd (recruitment agency)