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Verve helps a major housing charity take a new strategic direction

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Verve helps a major housing charity take a new strategic direction

Monday, October 8th, 2007

It started as a single-issue campaigning organization decades ago, but this major housing charity has evolved to the point where it is now a key service delivery partner, as well as being the true conscience of the housing market in the UK. But times change and even this greatly-respected body found itself facing a dilemma as a result of policy developments related to funding.

Not only has it become necessary to compete more actively for the available funds, the basis of funding has also changed. Faced with market research that showed how users of Legal Aid services often need advice in more than one area of Law, the Government set in train a series of changes designed to make the provision of legal advice more of a ‘one-stop-shop’. For a Housing Advice specialist this represented a big challenge and a threat to their ability to win contracts and help clients. The charity needed to decide whether to expand its scope to work effectively with the new approach or withdraw from service provision altogether. They asked Verve to help them, both with redefining their strategy, and with the subsequent actions.

The implementation of the resulting strategy has taken more than 18 months and involved some painful choices for the organization, but along the way, the charity started to win significant contracts under the new terms. Verve worked alongside the management team through the implementation of major structural changes and the introduction of fundamentally new working practices. The result is an ongoing transformation. The journey is not complete and Government Policy may change again in the near future, but the housing charity has confirmed it’s ability to provide the best and most appropriate advice to people who have no where else to turn.