This online conference will provide participants with the opportunity to explore strategies for delivering and advancing digitalization and digital inclusion across the Housing Sector. Participants will hear from HACT and Citizens Online who are at the forefront of housing policy on enhancing tenant’s digital inclusion and engagement and gain valuable insight from those embracing innovative technology to meet ever-increasing digital demands. In addition, best practice case studies will demonstrate how to implement an effective digital channel shift, raise tenants digital skills and review the impact that digital services had during the Covid-19 pandemic to improve customer service.
According to the Going Digital: Gearing up for the Future report published by the Chartered Institute of Housing in 2018, 71% of landlord organisations would be increasing the amount of digital technology they utilise. The main drivers for increasing this are to increase efficiency as well as customer experience but it is important for housing associations to ensure they are prioritising the needs and skills of their tenants.
The Government is putting increasing pressure on organisations within the UK to help create a Digital Economy through increasing digital services and ensuring that all UK residents have the necessary skills to engage with the wider world. The Government published the UK Digital Strategy in 2017 with the emphasis being placed on creating a digitally inclusive society whilst helping organisations to transform their services to improve efficiency and transparency. Homes England supports the push towards a modern social housing sector and has been experiencing its own digital transformation in an effort to better support the wider sector to transform its services.
Increasing the use of digital technology can help housing associations to cut costs as well as improve customer services and digital transformation is not something that is new to the social housing sector. However, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the onus now falls even more on housing associations to ensure that they are equipping their tenants with the necessary digital skills to ensure that they can best utilise digital services.
*Please note to comply with the latest public health guidance around Covid-19, this conference will run entirely via an online platform. Specific joining instructions and guidance will be provided to registered delegates
- Outlining how HACT’s innovation launchpad helps housing associations to discover digital technology and new solutions for the sector
- Understanding how digital transformation and digital solutions can help housing associations to provide better and more efficient services for residents
- Discussing how digital apprenticeships can help support housing associations
Digital transformation inevitably accelerates the availability of and dependency on data. Even before the term “digital transformation” was coined, there was a growing recognition that data quality was a serious problem for the housing sector.
In this keynote, Dr Rob Wray and Chris Lees will discuss how data is the foundation for almost all innovation, not just digital transformation, and bold steps taken within the sector are already beginning to pay-off.
Data’s ability to challenge traditional assumptions and stigma in tenant relationships, and higher expectations for social housing customers as they become digital consumers mean that the need to convert data into decisions is clear and present.
Rebecca Farrell-Greenhalgh, Transformation Service Design Lead, will be discussing how Yorkshire Housing have used the Covid-19 crisis as a catalyst to progress their digital transformation and improve landlords’ relationships with residents.
This session will include:
- Examining how the organisation changed its day-to-day actives and utilised digital methods to support their 19,000 homes, of which over a quarter had somebody over 70 living in them and self-isolating
- Outlining how they triggered their continuity plan and reallocated staff to provide intensive customer support, including help through the Universal Credit application process
- Assisting landlords to provide digital technology, identify those in most need and ensure its user friendly for all residents
Gary Haldane, Interim Digital Director at Kingdom Housing Association will outline how his housing association became the first organisation in Scotland to adopt Awingu, a browser-based workspace that enables highly secure connectivity to legacy applications in an environment where Kingdom accesses all systems using ChromeOS.
This session will also cover how this digital transformation sat within Kingdom’s larger ‘Cloud only Digital Strategy’ including moving to Google G-Suite and Google Cloud Platform.
Kenne Amissah, Digital Inclusion Manager at Clarion Futures, part of Clarion Housing Group, will outline their extensive programme of digital inclusion for 365, 000 tenants and their communities.
This session will outline:
- Putting residents at the heart of Digital Transformation, including 121 bespoke training programmes in group/community settings for residents unable to travel
- Effectively utilising Volunteer Digital Champions to provide support to learners with their basic digital skills and confidence
- Advice on providing equipment and low-level technical support across at a large scale level
- How Clarion Futures provide Digital Grants (up to £5,000) to groups to establish digital hubs and support residents to get online and stay connected in their local communities
- Understanding how transitioning towards digital transformation can digitally exclude residents, especially those living in social housing
- Outlining how housing associations can work with residents to improve digital skills and increase inclusion
- Discussing how housing associations need to engage digital transformation teams with inclusion practices to ensure this becomes part of the transformation process
- Exploring the resources offered by citizens online for housing associations to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic, including digital exclusion support and communication
Rowley Maggs will be outlining how SmartRent, a smart home automation company was embedded across the United States to support property owners and managers to digitally transform their operations while increasing customer amenity of their home.
This session will also cover how the lessons learnt in the US market can be utilised to improve housing delivery and experience in UK social housing.
This session will give delegates the opportunity to discuss in tables the specific issues that affect housing associations when they are trying to embed digital inclusion into digital transformation strategies. Panellists will also discuss the impact Covid-19 had on the housing sector and the role tech played in supporting vulnerable residents. Solutions to these challenges will be presented back to the room to ensure that delegates feel able to solve the problem of how best to encourage digital inclusion for all residents.
*programme subject to change
The Forum is specifically designed for Housing Associations. Typical job titles will include:
- Digital Services Managers
- Digital Inclusion Officers
- Digital Project Leads
- Heads of IT
- Community Engagement and Involvement Officers
- Heads of Service Delivery
- Business Transformation Managers
- Heads of Customer Service
- Directors of Transformation
- Communications and Customer Relations Managers
- Financial Inclusion Managers
- Directors of Housing Services
- Online Conference Rate£295