Bristol City Council is to streamline processes and enhance tenant services through the use of a new cloud-based housing management system following a £1.9m agreement with Civica.
Combining a modern interface and any time, any device accessibility for applicants, tenants and staff, together with integrated customer management, Civica’s Housing Cx system provides the foundation for a responsive, personalised and efficient housing service able to anticipate changing demands.
The combination of welfare reform, social trends and financial constraint is driving housing organisations to change the way they operate. Putting technology at the heart of its organisation, Bristol City Council is improving customer service and satisfaction for 61,000 tenants in 28,000 homes throughout the city. Through the use of Cx, the council will be able to access all information about tenancies, rents, repair works and feedback in one place as well as up-to-date information on waiting lists, repairs and maintenance logs. The system, which encourages tenant self-service, is simple to navigate through an app-style interface which features separate CRM, tenant and supplier portals, allowing housing managers to instantly check on the status of a repair using the same application and update records on the spot.
Crucially, Housing Cx automates tenant preferences, enabling them to receive communications through their preferred methods. This allows, for example, tenants to receive information about repairs via text and rents or arrears via letter. The solution integrates seamlessly with Bristol’s own digital platform and supports council wide initiatives to provide improved online services for citizens and suppliers.
Daniella Radice (Green), assistant mayor and cabinet member for neighbourhoods with responsibility for housing delivery, said: “The council is committed to providing high-quality housing services to our tenants. As part of this commitment, we are developing tools to improve the way our officers work.
“The system will work better for both officers and tenants. Officers will be able to access lots of different housing information in one place, and whilst they are out and about, not just in the office. Tenants will also be able to communicate better with the council about their housing issues using Civica. This is a significant investment in our housing services in Bristol and I look forward to its smooth implementation.”
The solution is fully integrated with Keystone, Civica’s asset management tool, used by Bristol City Council to support the effective administration of housing stock.
Jeff Hewitt, divisional managing director at Civica, said: “Bristol City Council is on a mission to deliver digital transformation, improving the customer experience whilst also reducing staff workloads. Housing Cx has been designed to help housing providers transform customer services and the way they communicate with tenants. Its use supports Bristol’s vision for digital service delivery and allows the authority to put tenants at the heart of its services.”
The solution was procured through the Local Authority Software Applications procurement framework operated by the Crown Commercial Service. The overall project, which began in May 2015, will be delivered through a phased implementation designed to provide early benefits where possible. The contract is worth £1.9m over a five-year period.