Housing Proactive, Alertacall’s housing management service, was introduced to over 230 Saffron Housing Trust (‘Saffron’) properties across Norfolk. The Trust implemented the service into its supported schemes to offer residents greater flexibility and help them start to engage with their housing service digitally. The service formed part of a cost effective alternative to replacing dated hard wired alarm systems.
Saffron is responsible for the management of over 6,000 homes across Norfolk and Suffolk. The Trust was seeking to replace an ageing call system (replacement parts were becoming obsolete and the system was, at times, failing). Replacing the whole system had significant costs associated with it and would impact on the service charge for residents over a long period.
The team investigated a range of technology options in line with its digital agenda – the main aims of which were to enable residents to live independently and also receive a tailor made service. Saffron also wanted a system that would enable them to keep peripheral schemes connected and which, therefore, did not require cabling.
Following a resident consultation process, Housing Proactive was implemented at eight supported schemes. As part of the service, residents were provided with a specially developed device, including the option of a touchscreen, each installed with an ‘OKEachDay’ button. Residents press the ‘OKEachDay’ button to pick up news and information from Saffron, or they are called by a highly trained team member from Alertacall. The touchscreen has a simple to use interface and is fitted with an any network SIM card (no WiFi required to deliver the service).
Housing Proactive records digital and contact centre interactions which is available in real-time via secure online reporting. This has given the team access to a range of housing management information and has helped to improve health and safety planning at Saffron thanks to the live online occupancy tracking reports.
First steps for residents to access services digitally
- Simple to use touchscreen offered to each tenant – no WiFi required
- Full training provided for residents – and ongoing assistance offered to encourage take-up
- Significant savings made from not replacing the hard wired alarm system
- Housing Proactive has a low weekly fee per property – no setup, maintenance or capital costs and the service charge is eligible to be met by housing benefit
Digitally enhanced daily contact – 365 days a year
- Greater flexibility for residents – control and choice in how they engage with their housing service
- Reduced workload for staff so the team could spend more time on a one-to-one basis
- Helped to reduce social isolation – residents have the option to speak to a team member on a daily basis
Enhanced resident communication
- Quick and easy to schedule resident messages – either to send to a group or on an individual basis
- Keeps residents informed of service updates (especially during COVID-19)
MI reporting – online portal
- Greater insight to changing needs of residents based on service interactions
- Better resource planning – staff able to plan time and prioritise
In their own words…
Tracey Harris, Head of Wellbeing & Partnerships, Saffron Housing Trust:
“Thanks to the Housing Proactive service we have been able to retain a number of properties as supported housing. Due to some properties spanning roads, if we had to replace the previous hard wired systems, it would have meant that they would have been decommissioned from our supported stock. Overall, it has been a very positive experience working with Alertacall. The technology upgrade has been well received by tenants and is in line with our digital agenda. The service has also enabled Saffron to get important messages to our tenants in a timely fashion“.
Suzy Horth, Project Manager, Business Transformation Team at Saffron Housing Trust:
‘When we met with the Housing Proactive team, it was very clear that it would enable us to deliver a more efficient and effective housing service and offer our tenants many benefits, whilst upgrading our technology to meet the digital agenda. During the Coronavirus lockdown, being able to send out regular updates to tenants and offer them new ways to communicate with us has been invaluable – particularly, given that our staff are working off-site. The online management information is especially useful in helping to identify any housing issues remotely. Importantly, through the Housing Proactive service, tenants have access to a friendly reassuring voice from their team on a daily basis if they wish – which helps to reduce the effects of social isolation at this time. We were delighted to get the service in place in February which has been invaluable.’
For more information on how Housing Proactive will benefit your residents and organisation, email Benjamin Lambert, Head of Client Relations, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0808 208 1234.