LHS has launched a major enhancement of its modular Choice Based Lettings system.
The new system, named “My Gateway”, allows housing applicants to see personalised information when they log on to their on-line housing application. This means that applicants will only see information that is relevant to them – in effect having their own “personal” pages.
“LHS is able to do this because of the information held on the Housing Register about each housing applicant.” said Peter Riley the Managing Director of LHS, speaking at the launch of the new system in London on April 29.
“It uses an applicant’s information to filter the advice we give about housing, employment, training and support. A young unemployed housing applicant might be offered information on training opportunities, for example, but would not see irrelevant information on, say, sheltered housing. By contrast, a pensioner might well be offered details of local sheltered accommodation but would not see other information that was not relevant to their situation.
Derbyshire “Home-Options” will be the first choice based lettings scheme to exploit the new system with “go-live” planned for May 2010. A series of other schemes are planning to follow, led by the Cambridgeshire scheme, “Homelink”.
“We have consulted widely on how the system will look and work,” said Simon Beynon, Housing Strategy Officer for Derbyshire Dales District Council – one of Derbyshire Home-Options’ eight partners. “We put the proposed designs on our public website for feedback and comment and the reaction from our existing housing applicants was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone is really excited about the new service”.
The integrated LHS system that drives “My Gateway” also acts as a powerful tool for Housing Officers assisting social housing applicants. Housing Officers are able to navigate quickly and effectively through the many options open to each applicant they are helping – whether that be mutual exchange, supported housing, low cost home ownership or renting from the private sector.
“At the moment, Housing Officers must draw upon their detailed knowledge of the many alternative routes an applicant can consider,” said Mr Riley. “Our system provides a structured route through the multiple options open to applicants, starting from initial contact and working through all the steps to the ultimate outcome.
“We therefore expect “My Gateway” and our integrated housing options systems to have a notable impact on the resources each local authority has to dedicate to helping social housing applicants.
“Every local authority aims to give a personal service to the public – “My Gateway” genuinely, and uniquely, delivers that 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”