House Keys: Round 2

House Keys Logo


After the success of the first year of House Keys: Operations, Q Shelter’s continues to partner with the NSW Federation of Housing Associations (the Federation) and is excited to announce that round 2 of the industry’s own benchmarking platform will soon commence. The Federation are aiming to release round 2 in June 2016

Why so soon?

The Federation want to release round 2 of House Keys as soon as practical so that the data in the platform is as up to date as possible.  With the support of the Registrars of Community Housing, the NRSCH team and NSW FACS  the next round of House Keys: operations will include the latest data CHPs submitted to NRSCH.

We wish to set up a regular annual cycle so that House Keys: operations data is released around June every year. Over time we hope to be able to reduce the turnaround time still further.


The Federation has consulted with reference groups and networks and received some excellent suggestions about how we can develop the platforms and the additional indicators subscribers would value the most. As a result we will be making the following enhancements in this release of the platform:

  • Addition of AHURI cost effectiveness indicators for CHPs completing the relevant workbook
  • 10 year projections of maintenance expenditure and EBITDA margins
  • Queensland and NSW Tier 2 peer groups (subject to a minimum of 3 providers in each peer group)
  • Additional indicators as requested by network members
  • Graphics enhancements, including the addition of a sector average line on ranking histograms
  • Ranking histograms to be controlled by peer group so that you can see your own ranking in comparison to  your closest peers

Streamlining the process

The Federation is proposing a change to the Terms and Conditions to streamline the data validation process and would like to hear your views about this.

In the last round of House Keys: operations, the Federation conducted a significant amount of validation after data was imported into the platform. This is because data was transferred directly from  the NRSCH team / FACS to our benchmarking partners  While testing the platform a number of unlikely results came to light and the Federation needed to verify these results.  Because the Terms and Conditions said that the Federation would not see individual providers’ data, it was necessary to follow up each provider and request permission to check the data in question.  And as the data had already been loaded in the platform this process was relatively slow and also incurred additional costs as the data needed to be reloaded – twice.

For subsequent rounds the Federation will be requesting a change to the Terms and Conditions to allow us to conduct pre-validation on the data so that we can identify any possible problems with the data before it is loaded.  This will speed up the process significantly and ensure that there are no additional costs incurred.

This is not a suggestion that we make lightly, however it is a much more efficient approach and it means we can do additional validation and reduce the turn around times.  We are bound by clear confidentiality agreements and will never disclose anyone’s individual results.

If you have questions or comments, please contact

We will be sending out an amended Condition with the renewal notices.

Getting the most from House Keys

Here are our top 5 suggestions about how your organisation can get the most out of House Keys:
1.     Include a summary of key data and rankings in board reporting, analysed by relevant peer group
2.     Prepare a summary for senior management and staff
3.     Prepare a digest of results for tenants and discuss the results in more detail with your tenants’ advisory group
4.     Feed the priority improvement areas into next year’s Operations Plan
5.     Discuss the sectors’ results at a network meeting with your peers – for example with CFO’s, middle managers’ or asset and development managers

Thank you

The Federation thank their key partners the Registrars of Community Housing, the NRSCH team, FACS NSW, Q Shelter, and most importantly our 39 CHP launch partners.

Find out more

Current subscribers will be contacted to run through arrangements and if you have any questions please contact us.

If your community housing organisation is registered for NRSCH and has not yet subscribed to House Keys but wishes to participate in 2016, please contact Jane West at or phone (07) 3831 5900.

Click here to find out more about how Q Shelter can help you use House Keys

Click here to view a House Keys User Manual