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Making it Count

We know that too often Private Rented Sector (PRS) access schemes undersell the range of benefits they deliver. This tool helps schemes to demonstrate the value for money of their service to the local community and the public purse. All costs included in Making it Count have been researched and tested by Dr Julie Rugg and Nicholas Pleace of York University. The tool was published following discussions with schemes and with stakeholders including Department for Communities and Local Government and the Probation Service.

The costings and the assessment tool can help you to identify many of the positive aspects of a PRS service service and show that it delivers real value for money.

The tool itself has been road-tested by ten schemes as well as our private renting champions and with their feedback we've put together some tips to aid you use the tool.

About Making it count

Making It count is a simple excel spreadsheet. Download it below and follow the prompts to insert your own local costs and figures. These are figures you should have to hand from your own reporting. You will need figures from a specific period. Once these are inserted into the spreadsheet the Making it count tool will calculate the value and savings for this specified period only.

You can download the tool free of charge but please ensure full acknowledgement of publisher and source is given when you use it.

How can Making it count help me?

Making it count helps you to prove the value for money of your service - you can use the results to:

  • include cost savings achieved in funding applications
  • promote the value for money of your scheme in your promotional materials
  • assign a clear cost-saving per tenancy created in your bids and tenders.

Funders who may be interested in seeing a robust assessment of the value for money of your scheme include:

  • probation service commissioners
  • local authority service commissioners
  • charitable trusts, individual and corporate donors.

Some tips on using Making it count

What dates should I use when completing Making it count?

Schemes should include data from the last quarter.

What if we run a number of PRS schemes?

Many large schemes work with a range of clients in several projects and have found it easier to break down their activity and complete a Making it count spreadsheet for each scheme they operate. Breaking down the tool to deliver results for different client groups will also allow you to target funders specific to that group.

What do you mean by clients that are caseworked?

For the purpose of Making it count, caseworked clients are clients that you have assisted into housing, are still in the accommodation you have arranged for them and are still within the period of your support (usually six to twelve months). Do not include any clients who are still in their accommodation but are now beyond their assigned period with the scheme (six or twelve months), any clients you are helping for the second time, or any clients for whom you have not yet found accommodation.

How have you come up with the figures?

Figures used in the tool are national averages and projected costs derived by Dr Julie Rugg and Nicholas Pleace. While these are accurate, schemes should understand the final figure provides a robust but estimated cost. To find out more about the figures used please see the accompanying Making it count user guide.

What costs should I include in Section 7: Access fund?

You should include actual access fund expenditure in this section. For example, let's say in one quarter if you issued £900 worth of bonds, paid out a bond claim of £400, paid out a £300 cash deposit and were repaid £250 from a previous cash deposit that you had paid out. Your actual expenditure for the quarter is the £400 bond claim and the £300 cash deposit minus the £250 you received as repayment for a previous cash deposit, making your access fund expenditure for the quarter a total of £450. This would then be divided by the number of clients case worked to get a per tenancy access fund cost.

Feedback about the tool

“Wow. We had no idea that in the last quarter we have saved expenditure of over £500,000. We knew that our service was great value, and that it saved the public purse considerable sums, but we had no idea that it was so much. Thank you Crisis for this very useful tool.” Jackie Carpenter – Derventio Housing Trust

“We can look at where our work is having the greatest impact, measure this against the cost of working with particular client groups or particular areas of the PRS.” Joanne Murray – Irish Causeway

“The ability to highlight cost savings to local authorities and other funding partners makes for a good discussion when looking to identify suitable funding opportunities and to present a real value with regard to project value for money.” Ross Giles – The Bond Board

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Making it Count user guide (PDF)

User guide supporting the Making it Count excel tool for Help to Rent projects

Making it Count tool (excel)

Downloadable excel spreadsheet for Help to Rent projects