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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Helping to make a house a home


In our latest blog, Helen Bradley, head of business development from Family Fund Business Services talks about the work they have done with local councils to save money on furnishing their homes to help even more people in need.

Family Fund Business Services (FFBS) was launched in 2013 by our parent charity, Family Fund, to share best practice and collaborate with other charitable organisations and local authorities. The premise was simple: if we worked with local councils and combined our buying power, we could secure better pricing for white goods, furniture, and other essential items, and the savings could be used to help even more people in need. Through our partnerships, we share our grant making expertise and buying power with customers, helping to extend their funding to reach more beneficiaries, while also generating sustainable, unrestricted funding for Family Fund.

Our housing journey

Since 2017, FFBS has expanded its reach into the housing sector, replicating the success of our model, and sharing the difference we make even further. For housing associations that offer tenants partial or fully furnished properties, we help make a house a home, providing access to a wide range of furniture, household items and white goods. We ensure that tenants receive essential items quickly and securely when they need them most.

Our customers’ beneficiaries are at the heart of everything we do. We have developed our business model and manage our supplier contracts to ensure that items are delivered quickly and securely to those in need, when they need them. We work hard to offer a range of fit-for-purpose, quality products to our customers, using in-house expertise to negotiate with our suppliers to select the most suitable items. This means that when they visit our bespoke online ordering portal they can trust that all of the hard work has been done; all that’s left to do is place the order, and we take care of the rest.

How does it work?

Our collaborative approach allows housing associations to achieve their goals by enhancing and streamlining their procurement strategies. We:

• Offer a ‘one stop shop’ through our online portal, ensuring an efficient administration and invoicing process

• Help to extend the reach of current funds by providing a 2.5% rebate on all eligible goods

• Have a fast and friendly helpdesk service and a dedicated account manager to offer a great customer experience

• Make budget management more straightforward – through our portal, customers can configure and manage multiple budgets easily.

All of this means that our customers can maintain and enhance their relationships with their tenants. By utilising our knowledgeable team and our bespoke services, housing associations free up their own time and resource so they can focus their energies on developing the strong relationships with their residents.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Our customers’ voice is at the forefront of our service development, so when they tell us we’re successfully helping them we know we’re on the right track.

“It’s fantastic to be working with a partner like FFBS. Having one supplier that not only offers a wide variety of quality items, but delivers an excellent end-to-end service is a weight off our shoulders. It is important for us to demonstrate value for money, as every penny we save goes back towards helping more vulnerable people find a supportive home and FFBS are helping us to achieve just that. We’re also delighted to be supporting Family Fund’s work with families raising disabled or seriously ill children through our new partnership.” Sarah Agar, team leader at Inclusion Housing

You can read more of our case studies on our website.

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