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Established 1996, Arneil Johnston is a leading housing consultancy in Scotland with a wealth of experience in developing practical, innovative solutions for our clients. We are a reputable, talented and diverse team with extensive experience of all aspects of social housing delivery.

Our company was established with the aim of providing quality consultancy services in housing, finance and ICT to the public sector in Scotland.

The Scottish focus of the company enables us to remain responsive to a changing policy and regulatory environment. We deliver services that are both business focused and socially ethical and we aim to add value to the social housing sector.

We provide support to local and central government, Registered Social Landlords and other statutory and voluntary agencies.

Services

We have tried and tested business support tools, research methodologies, engagement systems, strategy processes, specialist techniques and are skilled in developing bespoke solutions. We understand what works and how to deliver successful outcomes. We specialise in:

Pound
Business planning & financial management

  • Housing Revenue Account business planning & review
  • RSL business plan development & review
  • Merger & business integration strategy
  • Subsidiary business planning
  • Regeneration & development funding strategy

House
Housing strategy

  • Local Housing Strategy development
  • Housing Need & Demand Assessment
  • Homelessness & housing options strategy
  • Temporary accommodation strategy
  • CHR policy review

Chart
Service planning & business management

  • Asset management strategy
  • Rent restructuring & review
  • Best value service audit

Glasses
ICT specification & strategy

  • ICT procurement & systems review
  • Digital transformation strategy

Light
Learning & development

  • Management strategies
  • Strengthfinder assessment
  • Training: design and delivery

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Local Authorities

We have worked with 97% local authorities in Scotland providing support to maximise resources, deliver best value and achieve service excellence. We have also advised the Scottish Government and Scottish Housing Regulator on housing policy and recommended practice.

Services we specialise in for local authorities:

  • Housing Revenue Account business planning & review
  • Asset management strategy
  • Regeneration & development funding strategy
  • Rent restructuring & review
  • ICT procurement & systems review
  • Local Housing Strategy development
  • Housing Need & Demand Assessment
  • Homelessness & housing options strategy
  • Temporary accommodation strategy
  • CHR policy review
  • Best value service audit
  • Management strategies including Strengthfinder assessment

We work with:

  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Aberdeenshire Council
  • Angus Council
  • Argyll & Bute Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Clackmannanshire Council
  • Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council
  • Dundee City Council
  • East Ayrshire Council
  • East Dunbartonshire Council
  • East Lothian Council
  • East Renfrewshire Council
  • Falkirk Council
  • Fife Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Inverclyde Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • North Lanarkshire Council
  • Orkney Islands Council
  • Perth and Kinross Council
  • Renfrewshire Council
  • Scottish Borders Council
  • South Ayrshire Council
  • South Lanarkshire Council
  • Stirling Council
  • The Highland Council
  • The Moray Council
  • West Dunbartonshire Council
  • West Lothian Council

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RSL

We have worked with over 50 RSLs in Scotland with a particular focus on enabling successful business strategy, management and governance. We have a reputation for innovation, integrity and providing solutions that deliver best value.

Services we specialise in for RSLs:

  • Financial business planning
  • Business strategy review
  • Asset management strategy
  • Regeneration & development funding strategy
  • Rent restructuring & review
  • ICT procurement & systems review
  • Best practice internal audit
  • Merger & business integration strategy
  • Subsidiary business planning
  • Management strategies including Strengthfinder assessment

We work with:

  • Abbeyfield Scotland
  • Almond Housing Association
  • ANCHO Ltd
  • Angus Housing Association
  • Ardenglen Housing Association
  • Ark Housing Association
  • Arklet Housing Association
  • Atrium Homes
  • Barony Housing Association
  • Barrhead Housing Association
  • Berwickshire Housing Association
  • Bield Housing Association
  • Blackwood Housing Association
  • Bridgewater Housing Association
  • Cairn Housing Association
  • Castlehill Housing Association
  • Clyde Valley Housing Association
  • Cordale Housing Association
  • Cube Housing Association
  • Cunninghame Housing Association
  • Devanha Consortium
  • Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP)
  • Dunbritton Housing Association
  • East Kilbride & District Housing Association
  • Fife (Special) Housing Association
  • Glasgow Housing Association (GHA)
  • Grampian Housing Association
  • Hanover Housing Association
  • Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP)
  • Home Scotland
  • HomeChoice (Aberdeen)
  • Irvine Housing Association
  • Jephson Housing Association
  • Kingdom Housing Association
  • Link Housing Association
  • Linstone Housing Association
  • Linthouse Housing Association
  • Loreburn Housing Association
  • Maryhill Housing Association
  • Melville Housing Association
  • Ochil View Housing Association
  • Ore Valley Housing Association
  • Paisley South Housing Association
  • Partick Housing Association
  • Port of Leith Housing Association
  • Queens Cross Housing Association
  • Reidvale Housing Association
  • River Clyde Homes
  • Riverside Group
  • Scottish Borders Housing Association
  • Servite Housing Association
  • Shire Housing Association
  • Southside Housing Association
  • Sussex Housing & Care
  • Thenew Housing Association
  • Trust Housing Association
  • Welso Housing Management
  • West Whitlawburn Housing Co-Operative
  • Wheatley Group
  • Wishaw & District Housing Association

Our People (and their Strengths)

As a company, we pride ourselves on being a team of ‘practitioner professionals’ with extensive hands on experience and strategic vision. Our company directors have served in local government and held office in national organisations such as CIH and CIPFA Scotland. We are proud of our frontline management experience and fully understand the political, social, financial and economic challenges that Scottish housing professionals currently face.

We have quality procedures and ‘Investors in People’ accreditation. We are professional, approachable and good at engaging others. We are highly committed to skills transfer and building the capacity of our clients.

We take a ‘strengths based’ approach to managing and developing our team so that we maximise the talents of staff in the way we deliver services. All members of our team have completed a Clifton StrengthsFinder test, which is an online assessment tool that helps employees to identify, understand, and maximize their strengths. All people have a unique combination of talents, knowledge, and skills (strengths) that they use in their daily lives to do their work, achieve their goals, and interact with others. People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to say they have an excellent quality of life.

Our strengths based approach enables staff to discover, develop and use their unique talents for greater team engagement and business productivity. As a result, the Arneil Johnston team is better equipped to accomplish goals, meet performance objectives and respond to everyday situations.

Management Team

Donna Milton

Donna Milton,
Managing Director

Top 5 Strengths:

• Communication • Futuristic
• Activator • Ideation • Relator

Donna is an excellent conversationalist and presenter combined with an ability to energise others with her visions for the future. Being an activator means Donna makes things happen and quickly turns thoughts into actions. Ideation complements Donna’s other strengths allowing her to find connections that may otherwise be missed. Donna’s Relator strength means she gets great satisfaction in working with friends and colleagues to achieve goals.

Donna specialises in housing policy and strategy, with more than a decade of delivering business support services to social landlords. She has served 2 terms on the CIH Scotland Board, was an RICS Scotland Housing Commissioner in 2015 and is Vice Chair of Clyde Valley Property Services.

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Gillian Houston

Gillian Houston,
Director Finance Consultancy

Top 5 Strengths:

• Restorative • Developer
• Positivity • Activator • Empathy

Her Restorative strength means that Gillian is adept at dealing with problems – both figuring out what the problem is and resolving it. Her Developer strength complements this Restorative strength, developing people or systems to solve the problems she encounters. She does this with a Positive approach, always looking for the best outcome. Like Donna, Gillian turns thoughts into actions and is empathetic in her approach taking the feelings of others into consideration.

Gillian specialises in business planning and financial modelling, with more than a decade of delivering consultancy advice to social landlords. She is the 2011/12 past chair of CIPFA in Scotland and the Scottish representative on the CIPFA local authority housing panel having recently been co-opted onto the CIPFA Council for a term of two years.

Management Team

Alan McKnight

Alan McKnight,
Director Housing Consultancy

Top 5 Strengths:

• Connectedness • Belief • Strategic
• Futuristic • Learner

Alan seeks out connections, links and helps others see them in practice. Alan has strong core values that guide him and the work that he does. Alan’s Strategic strength combines well with Connectedness helping him to spot patterns, defining different paths to proceed. His Futuristic strength allows Alan to look further into the future and provide realistic solutions and options. As a Learner, Alan has a great desire to absorb knowledge and continuously improve.

Having served as a senior officer in local government, Alan specialises in service planning and improvement with a particular focus on best practice audit. A member of the Arneil Johnston team since 2012, he has provided consultancy services to the majority of Scotland’s local authorities and a wide range of RSLs. He has an MSc in Housing Studies and is a Chartered member of CIH.

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Jessica Meek

Jessica Meek,
Housing Analyst

Top 5 Strengths:

• Context • Input • Relator
• Individualisation • Achiever

Jessica researches the past to help her make sense of the future. In doing this, Jessica uses her Input strength to gather and assemble information from a variety of resources, storing this for the right moment. Jessica uses her Relator strength to build strong working relationships and gets great satisfaction not just from her own achievements but from those of others. Jessica uses her Individualisation strength to seek out the uniqueness of those around her. This strength complements her Achiever strength perfectly when working as a team to produce a positive outcome.

Jessica specialises in housing related research and housing systems analysis. She has a postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies and is a Chartered member of CIH.

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson,
Finance Analyst

Top 5 Strengths:

• Futuristic • Relator • Analytical
• Competition • Restorative

Whilst Jordan’s Futuristic strength means that he can clearly see the possibilities for the future, his Analytical strength means that he seeks out reasons and causes and can see all of the factors that may affect a situation. Jordan uses his Relator strength to build strong working relationships with others however his Competition means that he always strives to do more, be better. Jordan’s Restorative strength means that he is adept at dealing with problems figuring out what is wrong and drawing on all of his strengths to resolve the issues.

Jordan specialises in financial analysis and business plan development. He has a BA Honours degree in Accountancy and is currently studying for his ACCA qualification.

Business Support Team

Rebekah Hawkins

Rebekah Hawkins,
Administrative Assistant

Top 5 Strengths:

• Individualisation • Discipline
• Learner • Futuristic • Relator

Rebekah seeks out the unique qualities in others and has a gift for working out how different people can work together productively. Rebekah’s Discipline means that she enjoys structure and routine and can be counted on by others. The Learner strength means that Rebekah has a craving for new knowledge and thrives on new challenges. She uses her Futuristic talent to see the possibilities of what could be and works closely with others using her Relator strength to make things happen.

What our clients say...

We have collaborated with Arneil Johnston for a number of years. They helped us choose a new Housing Management IT system at the start of our business. They have carried out a comprehensive rent affordability study for us which has helped our Board to understand the context to their decision making in relation to rent rises and more recently they have helped us produce a new long term financial plan and financial modelling tool. If they weren’t good we wouldn’t use them!

They are currently helping us with comprehensive and extremely insightful internal audits of some of our services. The team are as personable, as they are professional and have a fantastic grasp of their customer’s environment.  Arneil Johnston produce work which is both challenging, and very helpful and we have been fortunate and benefited from, being able to work with them, over the years.

Ian Mclean, Director Bridgewater Housing Association

 

Arneil Johnston have proven to be an invaluable partner to Aberdeen City Council over the last 5 years,
helping officers manage both the Council’s Housing Asset Management Plans and Housing Revenue Account.
Where Arneil Johnston excel as a company is in their capacity to provide clear vision on how the stock is
performing with options for improvement. They are extremely knowledgeable of the affordable and private housing market in Scotland which was particularly useful for Aberdeen City Council as it recently embarked on an innovative affordable housing project with commercial partners. The staff of the company are not only always very friendly and efficient but readily make themselves available to offer advice, perspective and experience when required.

Aberdeen City Council

 

South Lanarkshire Council recently commissioned AJ to assist with a service review of a number of areas of business within Housing and Technical Resources. As lead officer for the review, I was very impressed by the methods used by them
to gather, analyse, report findings and undertake an options appraisal exercise of their findings. The methods used by them have also provided invaluable transferrable tools to the Council for future reviews.

South Lanarkshire Council

 

"The Arneil Johnston team have been great to work with. Flexible and responsive, they have provided strong strategic input and rigorous analysis."

Rhona McLeod Chief Executive, Trust HA

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