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What is 'TEC'?

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Technology Enabled Care (TEC) in Housing - why is it that more and more people in Housing are talking about it?  

Independent evaluations are proving that as well as making tenants’ lives better using appropriate technology as an enabler can also result in improved tenancy sustainment meaning less turnover and voids, more efficient servicesenhanced asset management, and potentially BIG SAVINGS!  

So what exactly is TEC?” I hear you ask  

TEC is generic term applied when any piece of technology is used in a way that enables a person to improve or manage their (or someone they care for’s) health, care or general wellbeing.  

The technology used may be a bespoke product, a website /app or maybe a device that you pick up on the high street. It could be provided directly by a housing association, purchased by a tenant, their family or a local charity. Some TEC is provided by local Health and/or Social Care services. Often excellent TEC solutions come from just making someone aware of a functionality in an existing device that they can use to make life easier – like using siri, google or alexa to open a voice or video call. 

When we talk about TEC in relation to Housing we call it TECH for short. Introducing or further developing the use of TEC in your housing organisation can be really simple and inexpensive – in fact, many of you may be using aspects of TEC without even realising! 

Here are just a few examples of TEC in action 

Getting the lights to turn on/ off automatically which helps people get to/from the toilet more safely at night time 

Using video calling to keep you in touch with loved ones that you don’t get to see as much as you’d like to. 

Using the camera on your phone to have the text e.g. on a label, letter or magazine read out loud to you individuals who have a visual impairment, have difficulties reading, or who have just forgotten their glasses can independently 

There are many, many other examples of TEC including devices that can call for help in an emergency, sensors that can predict changes in wellbeing whilst simultaneously supporting with property management and remotely supporting tenants to self manage a range of conditions 

So why are you hearing about TECH now?  

The impact that COVID-19 is having on tenant well-being and already stretched services, higher expectations from tenants, an ageing population, pressure on services, growing digital opportunities and the impact that moving from analogue to digital connections will present to many housing organisations (!!!) make this the ideal time to increase TECH activity.  

The Scottish Government has funded a 2 year programme to provide support to the housing sector to help it further grow its knowledge and experience of TEC. 

You’ll find out about some of the larger projects funded by the 1st phase of the programme (TEC ready) on our website www.techousing.co.uk.  

You can also read about the  TECH Charter, a framework of 7 pledges which has been endorsed by all key Scottish Housing Organisations .  

35 progressive housing providers have already signed up  

Once signed up you the opportunity to join the growing TECH community a knowledge exchange where members can share TEC knowledge and experiences, learn together and collaborate.  

To find out more ...   

Contact Geraldine Begg, TEC in Housing Programme Co-ordinator  email: gbegg@sfha.co.uk 

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