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SCVO are kicking off a new digital project with opportunities for housing organisations across Scotland

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About

SFHA’s Innovation and Futures Thinking programme is bringing our members and other stakeholders together to collaboratively develop new ideas and solutions for the future.  The new ‘innovation community’ is growing daily, with over half of our members already signed up to take part.  Our shared starting point is a collective ambition to broaden and strengthen the sector’s contribution to social justice and inclusive growth.

The programme aims to be:

  • Inspirational – incorporating international and ‘out of sector’ inputs to promote radical thinking and fresh approaches
  • Customer focused – using design-led approaches which put people at the centre
  • Evidence-led – building ideas and solutions based on robust research and insight
  • Sustainable – developing capacity for the housing sector to continue to innovate on an on-going basis.

We have three key streams of work to focus our innovation:  

Home of the Future

Innovation in design, construction and maintenance will deliver higher standards and maintain affordable rents. The Home of the Future will be designed around individual needs and desires of the people living there, and will reduce isolation and support connectivity. The Challenge: Can the housing and construction sectors, and others, come together to create a vision of future living?

Service Transformation

Digital technology will transform how housing associations work, making staff and services more agile, more responsive to customers’ needs and more efficient. Housing association customers will build their digital skills, bringing wide economic and social benefits. The Challenge: How will different types of customers and staff experience services in the digital future, and what does this mean for housing associations now?

Tackling Poverty and Demonstrating Impact

Many people on low incomes feel powerless, denied the same choices as others and often paying over the odds for goods and services.  Housing associations enable people and their communities to be resilient. However, we can do even more to improve the lives of the people we are here for. The Challenge: Can we develop practical ways for housing associations to co-design local services and demonstrate impact on poverty and the economy on an on-going basis?

 

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Kingdom uses innovative technology to help tenants remotely

Augmented reality helps fix routine repairs without stepping foot in tenants' homes.

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tags : Digital / Customer Insight / Innovation

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A Scottish housing association is the first to use new technology to help tenants fix routine repairs without stepping foot in their homes.

Kingdom Housing Association, based in Fife and with properties across East Central Scotland, introduced augmented reality just before the government’s coronavirus lockdown. Little did it know it would become so useful during this time.

The technology allows a trades operative to be virtually present in a tenant’s home, to see the issue in real time using video technology on a mobile phone or tablet and to offer support and advice by having their hand superimposed on the scene in the tenant’s home. All without ever stepping foot inside the property.

Many simple repairs and problems can be fixed remotely in this way, from fixing a door to connecting a washing machine, and all the time maintaining public health guidance on social distancing.

It’s one of the first times this kind of technology has been used by a housing association in the UK and has been introduced through a partnership between housing consultancy DtL Creative and Swedish-based XMReality.

Gary Haldane, Interim Digital Director at Kingdom Housing Association said: “This technology has the potential to be a game-changer. I knew when I first saw it that it would prove very useful. I just hadn’t realised how useful until we went into lockdown and operatives were unable to attend routine repairs because of isolation.”

“Our tenants have been amazed at how simple it is to use, and we’ve already had really positive feedback from tenants who have used the service. Our main priority during the coronavirus pandemic remains the health and wellbeing of our tenants and staff.

“Using augmented reality, we’re not only able to deliver the level of service our customers expect in a highly efficient manner, but we’re also able to do our best to minimise the transmission of the virus too.”

Dave Loudon, Founder of DtL Creative, said: “When the coronavirus hit a few weeks ago, we decided to help housing associations as much as we could. We’re working with several tech companies to offer free support to help them manage.

“The remote guidance from XMReality is amazing, and is just one of many innovations we’re offering to housing associations to help during this difficult time.

“As a company, we want to ensure technology and innovation is at the forefront of thinking in housing, so we’re pleased to be working with Kingdom who are embracing technology to improve tenants’ lives.”

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