The alpha phase of the project, led by London Borough of Redbridge, explored the development of a housing management platform that enables local authorities to move away from inflexible incumbent housing management solutions.
They used the 16-week alpha phase to:
- test a user-centred approach to designing tenancy management services
- evaluate the use of low code platforms for tenancy management as an alternative to enterprise housing management systems
Existing housing management systems are expensive and not user-centred
Enterprise housing management systems are used by social landlords but offer poor user experience.
There are high quality open source housing solutions available. However, many councils lack either the budget or the in-house technical knowledge to integrate these solutions with existing systems.
Migrating housing systems is expensive. The high implementation costs have led to archaic in-house systems that have not kept pace with changing user needs.
Alternatively, low code platforms need minimal hand-coding, which reduces development costs. Low code also usually enables quicker setup and implementation times at the potential cost of some flexibility.
Developing user-centred tenancy management processes in low code platforms
This project has defined service patterns for three tenancy management processes:
- Change of a tenant’s details, such as their phone number
- Application for a sole to joint tenancy
- Application for succession of tenancy
The team designed clickable prototypes of each of these processes, which their three low code partners developed on their platforms.
They kept user needs at the heart of the alpha by holding user workshops and running usability testing on the prototypes and the low code platforms. By addressing user needs, they can ensure that housing systems are more intuitive. Councils with limited IT resources should be able to implement and maintain housing solutions built on low code platforms.
In October 2023 the project team were granted beta funding via Continuous Funding Model and have begun plotting out a roadmap led by their delivery partner TPX impact.