What a five years it has been! The voters have gone to the polling stations more times than I can count to vote on local, national and UK wide issues and inevitably wherever you are in the UK the operating environment for housing associations has transformed. This places more onus than ever on our sector to show what we can do, to demonstrate our impact and to deliver for our communities.
As a first time judge, and (whisper it) a non-finance professional, I wanted to see whether this came through in the entries we received as a judging panel. As a panel, what we saw over and over again was that a progressive, innovative and ‘can do’ finance team is often the magic ingredient in supporting a housing association to change people’s lives. Challenging ourselves as a sector to deliver value for money and efficiency has been a major focus of finance teams up and down the land. It simply makes good business sense, allowing housing associations to do more, to invest more and to further their core purpose. As you might expect, this was at the very heart of many entries this year.
As a panel, we were also delighted with the range of entries we received. Those shortlisted reflect the breadth of our sector and the work we do. All shapes, sizes and specialisms joined the HANAs party this year and demonstrated in their own way how they are excelling in delivering their mission.
Shortlisting was a tough job but I hope you will agree on awards night that we have some worthy winners, making a difference to communities and building and investing in homes we can be proud of.
The HANAs award ceremony takes place on 6 July, 2017. I hope to see you there to celebrate our achievements as a sector.