Not your average DFG - Paul's blog

There are 326 housing authorities in England and I often say this means there are 326 different ways of handling DFG applications. If you came along to the recent DFG Review workshops you’ll know that the support available to potential applicants ranges from just handing them an application form through to fully integrated teams that help them every step of the way – and lots of variations in between.

But that’s not the only variation. We’ve collected quite a lot of DFG data over the last couple of years which means that we can try to find links and patterns. This usually involves a scatter plot to try and find any correlation. The trouble is we very rarely find any.

Take the number of maximum grants awarded per local authority for example. You might expect there to be some relationship between grant budget and the number of maximum grants awarded; that larger authorities would, through population size if nothing else, approve more grants at £30k. However, if you scatter plot the data there’s very low correlation:

As you can see the vast majority of local authorities approved less than 5 in 2016/17, but 60 approved none at all. The R2 value is a percentage showing how well the two sets of data correlate. If all the dots were on the line it would be 100%, in this case it’s at 14.49%.

Take any two sets of DFG data and you get a similar outcome, which I think highlights just how differently each local authority manages DFG and the lack of collaboration and benchmarking that has gone on over the last 20 years.

That’s why we were so keen to introduce DFG Analytics – to collate and share this data and bring local authorities together to learn from each other and improve their services. It’s the biggest set of DFG data ever collated and gives you the insight on how you’re performing and provides access to Learning and Innovation Clubs to stimulate your thinking.

If you would like a demonstration of what’s available and how it works please get in touch by emailing As a special new financial year offer, contact us by the end of April to get 15% off the standard subscription price. Other special deals are available for groups of authorities joining together.