Low-code patterns for housing management


  1. Project outputs
  2. Timeline

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:

  1. Change of a tenant’s details, such as their phone number
  2. Application for a sole to joint tenancy
  3. 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.

Project outputs

The project has delivered an alpha report.


Project timeline

November 2021

The project is awarded £150,000 of funding through Round 5 of the Local Digital Fund to conduct an alpha phase.

January 2022

The project has appointed a design partner who worked with Hackney Council in 2021 on the same issue. The design partner will be working with Redbridge’s user researchers and designers to create low code patterns. This will allow someone to change their details, or type of tenancy agreement, easily and efficiently. Read more on the team’s blog.

February 2022

March 2022

Redbridge has completed the 16-week alpha phase to explore ways of improving social housing management.

They will now develop their findings from alpha to move into beta. This next phase will include:

  • getting a better understanding of universal service patterns and processes
  • refining and iterating their low code platform designs

August 2022

The project team is preparing for their CFM interview. They’re in the process of defining viable tech options for the beta that will be acceptable for council IT as well as a scalable solution that can be used by other councils. Options include Microsoft PowerApps, one of the Alpha low code suppliers, amongst others.

September 2022

Redbridge Council have been successfully awarded funding for their Beta application via the Continuous Funding Model. The next stage of this project will see the team prepare to collaborate with partner authorities.

October 2022

The project team were successful in their application for Beta funding as part of the CFM process.

November 2022

Beta development for the project began on Monday 7 November. The team hosted a formal agile ceremony where the stakeholders and wider team were introduced, the tools and the platform agreed and the milestones for this project were set.

The project team has now launched the Beta phase with their supplier TPX Impact. Led by Linda O’Halloran (Partner), they delivered their first series of agile meetings to begin the sprint.

January 2023

Three months into the Beta phase and, after the initial project kick off, the team are into the first sprint. They will be hosting an open Show and Tell led by TPX impact on Friday 13 January.

May 2023

Throughout May, the project team has been showcasing clickable prototypes to developers, facilitating the transition from alpha to the next stages. They have also scheduled a sprint until the beginning of Wednesday 28 June, focussing on backlog refinement.

As they look ahead, the project team’s focus will be on further backlog refinement and prioritisation of user stories. They have also enlisted Placecube to continue developing additional low-code features that will be beneficial during the build phase.

The team is aiming to expand their collaboration with Housing Officers from other councils to test their designs. This will enable them to define patterns for various request types, such as tenancy changes and reporting anti-social behaviour.

August 2023

The Redbridge design team have now briefed PlaceCube on the various clickable prototypes that have been developed and work is progressing quickly on the first process to be built: anti-social behaviour management.

Over the coming weeks, the team will continue work on this, and will analyse the integration challenges they will face when building the change of tenancy services.

Housing management prototype homepage staged on Figma

The team are keen to find more councils to test their prototypes, with the hope to define common service patterns for their tenancy management processes. They are looking for contributions from a number of Housing Officers across a range of councils and anticipate this will require 1 to 2 hours of the officers’ time. Examples of the prototypes can be viewed on Figma. To get involved, email: tom.harrison@redbridge.gov.uk