Social landlords are under pressure, on a number of fronts: the government continues to press housing organisations to build more properties, while the impacts of benefit changes, the rent cut, and uncertainties around Grenfell-related cladding and safety issues continue to be felt in future financial planning.
In addition, the new housing bill proposes to grant the regulator extensive new powers to inspect landlords at short notice on areas such as health and safety and repairs performance; to take unilateral action on persistent issues; to grade providers with public Ofsted- style ratings (partly based on direct resident service ratings); and to levy unlimited fines on persistently underperforming landlords.
Digital to the rescue?
Many of the measures are centred around giving all residents a strong voice in their landlord’s decision- making, and to provide active feedback on all aspects of service delivery. There are intuitive digital platforms that can deliver on these promises, with minimal friction for providers.
In recent years, housing associations have made significant strides in digital self-service portal provision – but too many portal solutions are limited to a few core functionalities.
A key problem is the inflexibility of some portals: many are restricted to fixed-page layouts, deliver unintuitive user experiences that degrade brand trust, and may be locked to a single vendor.
The right solution
With the swift pace of changes within the sector, the most effective solution is one driven by a powerful and extensible content management platform that empowers providers, not only to seamlessly extend their data-driven features but also to communicate new initiatives, personalised to specific personas and even individual users.
As such, in choosing their suppliers, social housing providers should select an integrated software delivery platform that’s future-proofed, personalised and extensible – and delivered by a partner with a deep understanding of, and dedication to, the housing sector.
As a dedicated supplier of online digital solutions to the social housing sector since 2004, VerseOne Group has a huge amount of expertise in continuously delivering market-leading, secure, integrated self-service solutions to 50+ housing associations. These range from advanced real-time portals to out-of-the-box digital tenancy workflows, such as tenancy and PRS on-boarding and off-boarding, ASB reporting, complaints handling and more — 200+ solutions delivering calculated savings to the sector of over £24m per annum.
As part of our dedication to the social housing sector, we’re offering free Digital Discovery reviews to selected organisations. Order yours and find out how to join the conversation: https://www.verseone.com/housing