What the professionals have to say about our services
Affinity Sutton selected Homes Connections following a competitive tender process. We liked the versatility of their choice based letting, options and registration solution and their willingness to work with us to refine the product to meet our needs.
We found Homes Connections very responsive both in terms of service and delivery against a challenging brief which had to support significant change, following Government legislation, on our approach to allocating new homes and rent structures.
The solution has been up and running for nearly a year now and we are very happy with the results.
Tasked with giving Londoners greater mobility and control over where they work, this G15-led group has really thought on its feet.
In just over three months [Home Connections] established, at reasonable cost, an attractive, pioneering, easy to access and use, web based housing mobility system that has been working with virtually no hitches since 8 April 2011. Its strength is in its apparent simplicity. Despite there being 15 separate organisations involved; all have been able to adopt and implement the system with no difficulty
Home Connections provided valuable and responsive support, that enable residents and housing staff to interact through a central website. They worked well with project partners, providing flexible solutions, training for staff and on-going support and monitoring of the project.
In challenging times, we want to offer our residents a first class, seamless service and with Home Connections online registration form and integrated housing register we can do just that. Customers receive feedback and information every step of the way and the built in workflow and reminder system ensures our housing officers are on top of their game and follow a ‘just in time’ lean approach when dealing with applications.
Council tenants helped with the selection process. They chose Home Connections because they wanted to make the process more straightforward for people to exercise their choice.
Throughout the downturn it is crucial that we use every tool available to help Londoners avail of every opportunity that will help them find jobs, training and advice. The Housing Employment Connections initiative is an excellent example of such a tool, which also strives to deliver my vision of a stronger bond between housing and opportunity. I hope we can extend the example of the Housing Employment Connections project from being a successful pilot to a mainstream service across the capital.
Disabled home seekers in London can look forward to being far better informed about their choices and to a system that is consistent across the capital.
Housing Employment Connections (HECs) is supported by six London boroughs, Peabody Trust and specialist employment providers across London. [it] seeks to introduce and integrate employment information and services to existing and potential social tenants when they bid (apply) for properties. HECs will act as a gateway submitting their details to Information Advice and Guidance organisations and learning and skills providers. track the progress of individuals too, in order to monitor the effectiveness of the services. Importantly, it also assembles a list of jobs by grade (eg entry level) in the locality of the homes in which the applicant is interested.
Islington’s experience with HECs has been very positive to date. By linking housing options with information in employment and training options we are able to offer our customers a more holistic approach to their needs’.
Anna Vincini, Homelessness Prevention Project Officer, Islington Borough Council
“Just wanted to thank you all for your help and co-operation in getting Choice Based Lettings up and running. We’ve survived the first day and I’m really pleased that the system is working so well. It’s been very impressive to see everyone responding with such expertise to queries and issues which have cropped up at the last minute!
Thanks for all the support and time you have given to the project and lets hope it’s popular with our residents!
The promotional DVD produced is excellent and your staff did really well gathering information from various sources, that we had trouble in obtaining ourselves. Well done and thank you. It really did exceed our expectations and it is a valuable marketing tool, assisting us to sell our homes in Hackney.
We are very pleased with the high quality of our virtual tours. These tours will aid our prospective clients to make informed choices when applying for Sheltered Housing in Southwark. They capture the positive aspects of our properties and are presented in a very user friendly and eye pleasing style. Feedback has been very positive.
This will enable us to market our voids more effectively whilst ensuring that prospective clients have a good knowledge of the properties that they are bidding for. In many cases it is very difficult for Older people to physically view properties and these tours will make life a whole lot easier.
It will also save us time and resources. We were very pleased with the level of service provided. All of our specifications were exactly matched and the quality of communication throughout the project was excellent.
After extensive research the City of London have selected Home Connections as our preferred CBL provider. The package they offered was the most flexible, allows for a comprehensive I.T. based approach, and is excellent value for money. The City look forward to working in partnership with Home Connections to provide our tenants and housing applicants with a first class CBL scheme.
What has struck us is that HC is professional if we ring or e-mail we always get a response back. I think you are honest; there is integrity with your business. I think we have ended up with a product that has got that integrity running through it [and] the team seem to be passionate about what they do. I am not aware of another provider with a housing background doing this, there are companies doing virtual tours but not that know housing.
Wow – doing the virtual tour for a property was fantastic, it really gives an idea of what the flat is like…. so for someone who has very limited mobility due to severe illness it makes life so much easier as I don’t have to do exhaustive trips and bid for properties that I just guess will be suitable.
Easy to follow, best way to see proposals I’ve seen.
Virtual tours technology on its website allow homeseekers to view properties before they bid. The virtual tour shows access to the property, and views of each room, as well as giving descriptions of the rooms and information on heating and lighting. Links to detailed location maps are also provided.
We have housed 120 older residents into sheltered and supported accommodation. Most bidders are over 60 and over 70% of participants say Home Connections is better than the previous allocations system. They prefer the transparency of the process. Many of those we housed said it was a “great idea” and “very easy to understand”. This is proof that older residents are an active part of our community and are able to make use of the new technology-based lettings system.
Home Connections measures performance against a series of critical success factors linked to the aims of the scheme. Evaluation includes analysis of the database to identify changing patterns of supply and demand, use of customer focus groups, and postal questionnaire surveys.