Housing repairs service for local government (Beta)


  1. Project timeline

The City of Lincoln Council are leading on this collaborative project, which aims to build a new application form for social housing residents to report their repairs. The project also looks to produce a common API that will enable user facing applications to integrate with appointment scheduling software.

For the next stage of work, the project proposes 3 phases to:

  1. Build the user interface with a single scheduling supplier at one council. It will use a subset of repair types based on the common service pattern defined within Alpha.
  2. Prove that the tool can be replicated, using an appointment scheduling system where possible.
  3. Develop a common API that will integrate with alternative scheduling suppliers. It will also consider future development to housing management systems using a common API layer.

The project is due to officially kick off the next stage of delivery in July 2021. To contact the project, email fraser.trickett@lincoln.gov.uk or fill out a contact form.

This project builds on past discoveryalpha and technical alpha work.

Project presentation at Digital Leaders week 2021

Project timeline

December 2018 to April 2019 - discovery

Previous ‘Housing repairs online’ discovery receives £80,000 from the Local Digital Fund.

‘Housing repairs online’ discovery delivers project outputs, which are published on the Local Digital website.

September 2019 to February 2020 - alpha

MHCLG awards £100,000 to the ‘Developing a better online housing repairs system’ previous alpha from the Local Digital Fund.

Project team delivers agreed outputs from ‘Developing a better online housing repairs system’ alpha, published openly on the Local Digital website.

August 2020 to October 2020 - technical alpha

Project is selected to be funded as part of Local Digital Fund.

Project has an alignment workshop to align the team around:

  • Any work already done
  • Desired outcomes
  • Who we need to speak to
  • Our riskiest assumptions

Project publishes weeknotes about their workshop. 

Project has their 1st sprint:

Hosts 1st show and tell and publishes sprint notes

roject has their 2nd sprint:

  • Interviews suppliers and council IT departments
  • Identifies primary integration point for a product
  • Looks at potential approaches to adopting a common API
  • Reviews the Hackney ‘Raise a Repair’ codebase
  • Hosts 2nd show and tell and publishes sprint notes

Hosts a supplier engagement session with TechUK

Project has their 3rd sprint:

  • Interviews suppliers
  • SoR code analysis
  • Looks at communal and leaseholder repairs
  • Looks into accessing a supplier sandbox environment

Hosts 3rd show and tell and publishes sprint notes

Project has their 4th and final sprint

February 2021 - beta

The project receives £350,000 of follow-on funding from the Local Digital Fund to continue their work.

May 2021 - beta

The project is undergoing procurement activities with the view of kicking off their beta stage in June 2021.

June 2021 - beta

Having closed their supplier opportunity on the Digital Marketplace, the project is now busy shortlisting supplier proposals. Altogether, they received 14 applications from small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The team is also preparing for the THiSTLe Housing IT Group Meeting presentation on 24 June and a roadmapping session on 28 June. At the roadmapping session, the project aims to:

  • revisit the project vision for the project set at alpha stage
  • agree a project vision for the beta stage
  • agree a high level roadmap that shows how the beta vision can be achieved

Fraser Trickett from the City of Lincoln Council also presented at Digital Leaders Week, where he spoke about the project and their plans for Beta. Watch the project’s Digital Leaders week presentation recording on YouTube (skip to 32:10 minutes).

July 2021 - beta

The team are continuing with procurement activities. Committed to making the application process valuable, the team have also worked on providing feedback to the unsuccessful suppliers.

The project presented at the THiSTLe Housing IT Group Meeting which had great engagement and excellent questions. A couple of councils even expressed an interest to follow the project and take part in it after attending.

On Monday 5 July, the project had a road-mapping session where they:

  • revisited the project vision and agreed how they will update it
  • agreed a project vision for the beta stage
  • agreed beta stage goals that will help achieve the beta vision.

December 2021 - beta

The Housing Repairs team has continued to further their knowledge of the DRS scheduling software, incorporating the ability to check appointment availability and book appointments.

The team has successfully integrated the Housing Management API with Universal Housing. Authentication has been added to both the Repairs API and Housing Management API ensuring that API requests are secure and authenticated.

The project team have held a series of user testing sessions to gather feedback from a diverse range of services users, including those who are digitally excluded, and to ensure that a range of accessibility needs were tested.

The team presented at Local Gov Camp 2021 and hosted a series of Show and Share sessions, every fortnight, to demonstrate the project’s progress. Previous sessions can be viewed via the Repairs Online YouTube channel.