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How digital is your housing association?

How digital is your housing association? Providing affordable and accessible internet provision for every tenant can still be a challenge.

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SFHA’s Innovation and Future Thinking Programme, supported by Wheatley Group, is bringing our members and other stakeholders together to collaboratively develop new ideas and solutions for the future.

Over 60 individuals are currently working across ten projects, following three Innovation Boot Camps in August and September which generated ideas and a range of ambitious priorities.  

Over the next few weeks, Housing Scotland Today will feature a series of blogs by the leaders of these projects. This week’s blog is by Graeme Hamilton, a housing and digital consultant.


As part of SFHA’s Housing Innovation project, I am on a team that is looking at the use of digital connectivity to improve the customer experience of housing services.

We have already gathered great examples from around the country including Blackwood’s Clever Cogs care system, Thenue’s digital tablet lending service, ELHA’s customer portal and Loreburn’s approach to improving access to health in rural communities.

Providing affordable and accessible internet provision for every tenant across the country still remains a challenge in many communities and the work of this group is focused on how we can develop a collaborative solution to this market and then sustain that through business and customer benefits, ongoing learning and local support.

Whilst many of the associations we have chatted with are looking at digital development, for others this is not yet a high priority. The development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) - smart devices in the home that have the capacity to connect to the internet and help inform our decisions is one of the potential drivers towards positively changing engagement with tenants.

IoT can be triggered by sensors on boilers, or on common stair lighting or lifts in tower blocks to implement repairs or turn on services. It could also help movement detectors for those older or more vulnerable tenants who continue to live independent lives at home or mobile working opportunities for housing and care staff. However all that is only truly possible if we can ensure that there is affordable, secure and high quality connectivity in every home across the country.

Graeme Hamilton is a housing and digital consultant


If you would like to join the Housing Innovation Community, find out more about any of our projects, or help to shape future priorities, then please get in touch at lwilson@sfha.co.uk and follow us on Twitter: #housinginnovationscotland.