Local digital fund project to help Redbridge housing management systems

Tom Harrison, Monday 24 January 2022

Housing management systems are big, complicated systems but their functions can generally be split between financial management and case management. At Redbridge however, we believe we can deliver a better user experience by providing this case management on an alternative platform. Beyond social housing, there is also an ongoing conversation in local government around service patterns and how these can be shared and reused between councils.

Last year, we were successful in winning funding from The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)  Local Digital Fund to look at both of these topics. Our alpha stage project will take three tenancy management processes, define service patterns for them and then implement in three low code platforms. By doing this we will be able to assess the suitability of low code platforms as alternatives to some parts of a housing management system and get an understanding of what needs to be taken into consideration when following this route. By producing patterns for these services we will also create platform-agnostic assets that can be implemented in low code platforms or native code.

To help us in our design we have appointed Amido as our design partner who will be working with Redbridge's user researchers and designers to create patterns for change of details, changing tenancies from sole to joint, and tenancy succession. Throughout 2021 Amido have been working on a tenancy management process with Hackney Council, building in native code. This brings  specific knowledge to the project and also the opportunity to baseline our work with low code providers against an alternative model.

We have also appointed three low code platform providers to implement these patterns. Rapid is a fully open source platform primarily aimed at developers, used by nine councils, predominantly for social housing applications.

Netcall's Liberty Create is a proprietary platform currently in use at 14 local authorities, including Adur and Worthing who have built their repairs service on it. Placecube's Digital Place is also open source and built on top of the Liferay open source project, used by 10 councils.

We're looking forward to seeing what can be achieved over the next few months. We'll be publishing sprint notes on this blog and our show and tells will be open to anyone that wants an invite. Our next show and tell is on Wednesday 26 January at 11am. We're also interested in bringing additional councils on as partners, so please get in touch either on Twitter, @lbrdigitalvoice or email tom.harrison@redbridge.gov.uk

Update 3 March 2022

Watch a recording of our first Show and Tell.

Show and tell slides from 26 January 2022 (PDF 2MB)