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Port of Leith Housing Association (PoLHA) commissioned MainStreet to research, cost and recommend the most suitable organisational vehicle and structures enabling the Association to deliver on place-making and shaping activities within Leith and North Edinburgh.

Our work included a series of consultations with key stakeholders on priority activities for the new vehicle, a detailed options appraisal of different potential structures, and a five-year business plan to show that the subsidiary is financially sustainable. Our recommendation was approved by the PoLHA board, and the new organisation – Quay Community Improvements – was set up in October 2016.


“We were delighted with MainStreet’s work in making our Place Making Vehicle project happen. They engaged well with staff, Board members, tenant representatives and our partner organisations in what is very a complex environment and a potentially difficult initiative. Their subsequent work on our Business Viability Assessment has given us a solid foundation for the new organisation that we will launch in 2016.”

Claire Ironside
Director of Customer Services
Port of Leith Housing Association


MainStreet Consulting was commissioned by Kingdom Housing Association (KHA) to provide an impartial and objective assessment of its Support & Care Service.  Over the past few years, this service has faced several sector pressures including increasing costs and flat revenues, questioning the viability of the service.

Following our detailed situation review, the KHA Board approved a detailed options appraisal to identify and assess the best future option for the service.  Given the specific KHA circumstances, a Community Interest Company (CIC) was the preferred option and we then developed a detailed 15 year financial model to support a business plan for the service to operate as a stand alone subsidiary of KHA.  The business plan was approved by the KHA Board and is now being implemented with a functioning subsidiary delivering the service on behalf of KHA.


“We would be happy to work with MainStreet Consulting again, and have no hesitation in recommending the company to other Housing Associations.”

Norah Smith
Director of Housing and Care
Kingdom Housing Association


Govan Housing Association required our support to assess Govan Home, their in-house labour organisation, and their factoring service.  For both services, we undertook an extensive set of interviews, desktop research and identification of good practice.  This work was necessary to assess the current situation and the possible options for service development that the Association could consider.

Following an options appraisal with Govan’s Senior Management Team, we created a financial model for the Govan Home service and wrote a 5 year business plan for it to operate as a stand alone subsidiary as part of a new Govan Housing Association.  The factoring service will be retained in the Association, and MainStreet is currently developing a comprehensive internal transformation plan.


The Caledonia Group (CG) is made up of Caledonia, Bellsmyre and Cordale Housing Associations and is one of Scotland’s leading providers of high quality affordable homes for people in housing need.

MainStreet Consulting was invited to provide an objective and critical analysis of CG’s non-core services to enable the organisation to redesign the way it delivers these services to ensure they are effectively governed, are financially sustainable in the long term and can demonstrate value for money for tenants and customers.

The nine CG’s non-core services included Factoring, Home Help, Home Help Cleaning, Sheltered/Very Sheltered Housing, Housing with Care, Estates, and Care and Repair.

As well as a comprehensive review of all services, we also facilitated a session with the three housing association boards and the tenants scrutiny panel to identify the most important strategic objectives for the non-core service portfolio.  We also developed a financial model that established the future sustainability of the services and highlighted recommended actions:  two services needed significant restructuring, three needed process improvement work and one should be divested.

CG is now progressing with the implementation of our recommendations.


“MainStreet added real value to our organisation restructure project and subsequent transformation activities. Their support has meant we can now move ahead with a clear direction.”

Gill Donoghue
Head of Support Services
Caledonia Housing Association


Castle Rock Edinvar (CRE) appointed MainStreet to undertake a strategic review of its Care & Support service, which provided a range of support services to circa 500 individuals and employed 190 FTE. This work included an objective analysis of the current operating environment, (future demand, potential to retain services, funding, key risks and pressures on the sector), widespread stakeholder consultation on the fit of the service within the large Places for People (PfP) Group, and consideration of alternative business models for future delivery of the service.

An important part of our work was benchmarking the cost profile of the service against its peers to identify that value for money was not being achieved in the current model. After completion of the work, the PfP Group board agreed to the service becoming independent and we were re-engaged to support it in its divestment process.  The standalone organisation, WithYou, went live in April 2018.


Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) invited Addleshaw Goddard and MainStreet Consulting to review its factoring service which was a cause for concern for  senior management team who believed it was  inconsistent in its approach, was not being run commercially, had ineffective processes and systems, did not occupy a natural position within the organisation’s structure, and was loss making.  Our review focused on how the operational risk to DGHP could be mitigated, and identification of the actions necessary to operate the service in a commercially sustainable manner.

We undertook desktop research of DGHP documents, business plans, policies and accounts, interviewed key staff (SMT, factoring, technical team, investment, housing management, and finance) and stakeholders (tenants, owners and others), identified the service’s overarching aims and objectives, undertook a seven S analysis, a SWOT analysis and a PESTLE analysis.  Following this we developed a report and a transformation plan, which were shared with the project sponsor, SMT and Board.


Over recent years, MHA had gone through a secondary stage transfer, trebling in its size. This has led to a significant focus on operational performance.

New legislation in the form of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 came into effect in 2016 and the Association wanted to ensure that it compiled with the new duties that were to be placed on contracting authorities.

Our review included interviewing key MHA staff, assessing key procurement policies, procedures and documents, benchmarking of performance against MHA’s peer associations, and development of new compliant procurement documentation. We made recommendations on a wide range of procurement related matters including the use of frameworks, partnering, e-procurement, Board involvement in procurement, and community benefits.


“MainStreet was appointed by MHA to carry out a review of Procurement policy and practice across the organisation. The project was delivered on time and within budget. As a result of MainStreet’s high quality work we have assurance that, going forward, procurement activity will be compliant, effective and provide value for money for our customers.”

Donna Birrell
Director of Property & Investment
Maryhill Housing Association

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