Southampton, UK 3rd October 2013; In his opening remarks at the 1st Touch Mobile Technology Conference 2013, company CEO Robert Dent highlighted the increased pressures that social housing organisations face in coping with the new bedroom tax legislation. In his view; “Whilst some see the bedroom tax as a controversial tussle between the political parties, the real life ramifications are proving to be a huge challenge for both the management of social housing organisations and the tenants whose lives the new regulations affect so dramatically.”
Speaking at the event, which also includes presentations from the CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing) and a number of other social housing organisations, Dent notes; “Within our own user base of the UK’s leading social housing organisations, we have seen a significant increase in Voids activity. This is the result of people moving out of properties when either they cannot afford to rent them under the new rules or where they do not want to pay for rooms that are not being used. However, what has also become apparent is that these properties are very quickly taken up by families who provide full occupancy. Indeed, some of these families have been waiting many years for suitable accommodation. Irrespective of the politic backdrop and controversy of this policy, one cannot ignore the evidence that this trend is starting to create a fundamental shift in the housing sector as it starts to reduce the waiting lists for social housing”.
“However, this policy has thrown unprecedented pressure and resource demands onto social housing organisations who must cope efficiently and smoothly to manage such changes. As they are already rightly committed to delivering the very highest standards for their tenants, the changes need also to be handled sensitively and professionally. Thus, as social housing organisations seek to optimize their stock inventory in the fairest possible way, it is reassuring to hear that the more widespread take up of enterprise-wide mobile technology, to manage processes such as Voids stock inspections and remedial repairs, is helping to minimize the time taken to turn such properties around as quickly as possible before the new tenants can move in. Interestingly though, the driver for social housing organisations to have such enterprise-wide mobile systems already in place, was not borne out of any desire to cope with the stresses that the bedroom tax adds. Rather, it was the product of a constant and evolving strategy by social housing organisations, over the last few years, to invest in technologies that help them to deliver the very best service levels they can to their customers. In short, this on-going decision, made by social housing organisations to put their customers first, has paid dividends and proved to be a very wise investment indeed.”
Other organisations speaking at the conference include the CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing), AmicusHorizon, Erimus, Barnet Housing, Mint Systems and Service Power.