Many local councils have transferred their entire social housing stock to housing associations (HA). Under the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) is charged by the UK government with ensuring that private registered providers of social housing are viable, efficient, and well-governed. As the regulatory arm of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), RSH uses a grading system: G1 (the highest governance rating) to G3 (non-compliant) and V1 – V2 for financial viability, to make housing associations accountable to tenants and British tax payers.
To maintain their grade, housing associations are constantly looking for ways to improve operational efficiency and governance. An effective way to demonstrate this is by ensuring that sensitive tenant data is well-governed.
Housing association tenants may include vulnerable people who are in receipt of housing benefits or Council Tax Reduction, and who need to access multiple social services. HAs are in receipt of personally identifiable information, (PII) including income, benefits, dates of birth, names of dependents, and banking details. It is vitally important to ensure that this information is handled sensitively and securely.
Housing associations that prioritise data management can correctly identify and better serve the needs of tenants who may have recently moved into the area, be transitioning from children’s to adult’s care and support, or be transferring from the private rental sector.
From tenants’ perspectives, an HA with a well-governed data source can enable them to view all of their maintenance and billing schedules in one place, rather than forcing tenants to contact electricity, telephony, broadband, facilities management, and other service providers individually.
Personalised reports could be delivered via a housing association’s branded portal, an InfoApp, or via text messages, depending on tenants’ requirements.
Focusing on data management is a positive move because it assists tenants and makes them feel that they are being looked after by their social housing provider and that their HA knows who they are and where they are with their payments and maintenance schedules. A complete record, potentially with the added convenience of a single itemised bill for all services and payment schedules, provides tenants with reassurance that their data is respected, well-managed, secure, and accurately updated.
Information Builders can help HAs to deliver this level of service by enabling them to seamlessly integrate data from disparate sources, which is particularly valuable following mergers of HAs, and to maintain accurate records when tenants move in and out of boroughs. Our proven technology includes automated rules to integrate and cleanse data to provide HAs with a golden record for each tenant. The HA can then be confident that it knows exactly who its tenants are; where its housing stock is located; where housing capacity exists; and its financial obligations.
We appreciate that HAs don’t necessarily have the skills in-house to set up data quality and governance programmes. That is why Information Builders is planning to help leading HAs to become Beacon organisations. By hosting data governance roundtables, Information Builders will provide a platform for Beacon HAs to lead by example and answer the questions and concerns of other HAs, so that they and their tenants benefit from best practice in data quality and data governance.
Join Ian Matthews, vice president of Sales UK & Ireland from NG Data and Clinton Etheridge, senior pre-sales consultant from Information Builders on Tuesday, 10 April to gain valuable insight into proven approaches that can impact tenant experience. Register here.