Innovation in Scottish housing is delivering improved value for money

North Lanarkshire Smartphone AppScottish social landlords are modernising services and making use of new technology to deliver real, quantifiable savings and improved productivity, according to HouseMark Scotland’s Value for Money Club.

The club’s second meeting of the year took place on May 19 in Glasgow.

The event saw senior managers and chief executives of social landlords from across Scotland hear from Lynsey Smith and Michelle Hendry of North Lanarkshire Council about how they are transforming their approach to repairs and maintenance through integrated job management and mobile technology – an approach which earned them a nomination for the “Outstanding approach to repairs and maintenance” award at the 2016 UK Housing Awards.

The approach is delivering real benefits for tenants and for the council, with 99.4 per cent of repairs appointments being kept (compared to a Scottish average of 92.9 per cent) and satisfaction increasing from 78 per cent in 2012/13 to 92 per cent in 2014/15.

Attendees also heard from Simon Fitzpatrick, strategic development director with Blackwood Homes and Care who gave a presentation outlining Blackwood’s innovative new approach that brings together the worlds of gaming and housing to achieve improved value for money.

The club also explored how adopting a ‘digital first’ approach can make a positive contribution to the VFM agenda. Dominica O’Neill, head of human resources at Home Group talked about their approach to re-designing services, resource planning and workforce management which puts the customers at the forefront of design.

Finally, members learned what Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) is doing to revolutionise online services. Amina Graham and Jonathan Creaser shared RHP’s innovative channel shift and digital inclusion strategy, which featured top of last year’s Inside Housing Innovation Index.

Commenting on the event, Kirsty Wells, head of HouseMark Scotland, said: “This club meeting has demonstrated that there is some really exciting and innovative work going on within our sector, both here in Scotland and throughout the UK. Across all aspects of our business – from HR and staff engagement to repairs scheduling and interaction with tenants, there are approaches being developed that really can deliver better value for money. I think attendees got a huge amount out of this session to inspire best practice and achieve ongoing improvements in service delivery.”

The next meeting of the VFM Club will take place in October 2016 in Glasgow.

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