Common service pattern for Housing repairs online (Local Digital Fund) DISCOVERY

Project details:

Organisation London Borough of Southwark
Department
Collaboration Level Share Ideas
Budget £50K > £100k
Key Contact May-N Leow
Phase start 08 February 2019
Phase Estimated end 29 March 2019

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Description

Councils are responsible for providing repairs to socially rented properties. Most users access the service by phone and it is typically the service with highest volumes. The service is attractive to provide digitally, however when an acceptable telephone channel exists take-up is often low, possibly due to:

  • Failure demand, with users calling for updates on existing requests
  • Lack of clarity as to responsibility for repairs
  • Complex diagnosis
  • Urgent/dangerous repairs not suited to digital channel
  • Preference to speak to agent
  • Demographics of tenants same as those likely to be digitally excluded

Consequently providers don’t always realise expected savings from channel shift and digital repairs services that meet the service standard may not be economical for smaller providers.

This discovery aims to define a common service pattern for housing repairs and understand:

  • Barriers to adoption of digital repairs services
  • The elements best suited to self service
  • Optimal uses of technology to improve user satisfaction, reduce costs, which may not be the initial logging of the repairs
  • Work on digital repairs services & user research already undertaken by councils
  • How service pattern can be mapped to the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) repairs data standard

From this a kit will be produced to accelerate development of digital repairs services. 

Original Local Digital Fund application https://localdigital.gov.uk/funding/london-borough-of-southwark/ in partnership with Lewisham Homes, Lincoln, and Gravesham Council.


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Status Updates

15 February 2019