Leicester’s housing applicants to experience increasingly efficient service through Capita
Capita Software Services announces the successful implementation of a choice-based lettings system involving Leicester City Council and 20 partner registered providers (RPs). This will provide the people of Leicester with a more efficient way of accessing the most appropriate housing accommodation for their needs and will also bring greater transparency to the allocation process. Realised through a single point of contact where customers can view all available social housing properties, they will no longer have to search through 21 separate organisations.
Customers will have a wider variety of choice in the way they can bid for vacant properties - either directly through the web, via interactive voice response (IVR) or SMS. Accessibility to available housing will also be enabled in future by placing kiosks in various locations across the city. These will provide the exact same functionality as the website, allowing customers to view and bid for available properties through a touch screen system.
Martin Clewlow, head of service (property), Housing Services at Leicester City Council, said: “It is crucial for the efficient running of our housing service and the satisfaction of our customers that we increase the efficiency of our services. By enabling us to work with all 20 RPs in the area we are confident Capita will help increase the system’s transparency so customers can clearly see what is available to them, leading to increased satisfaction with the service.”
The contract with Capita will allow Leicester City Council to streamline the interaction it has with the RPs who will now be able to add their own properties, process their own offers and download their own reports through the RPs’ web portal.
The RSL web portal will link into the housing application process to source information at various stages. These points will include the allocation of tenant shortlists to appropriate staff members at the council and RPs on closing the advert cycle when applicants can no longer bid for the property. The system also includes a function where it can bid for accommodation automatically on behalf of vulnerable people who may not have access to a computer or mobile phone so they don’t miss out on suitable available properties. This works by holding the stated preferences or requirements of the applicants, identifying the available properties they are eligible for and matching those requirements. It then applies a bid on their behalf.
Roger Birkinshaw, director of housing at Capita Software Services, said: “The housing sector is facing a challenging 12 months so it is crucial that everyone working in the sector – be they public or private organisations – pulls together to share resources and drive efficiencies. We believe we have implemented a system for Leicester City Council which will help them realise further efficiencies, both monetary and resource-wise but more importantly, create an easy-to-use process for their customers.”
Martin Clewlow added: “In the spirit of ensuring customers receive the services they require we will work with Capita to encourage customer feedback in order to make any necessary improvements over the coming months. We have words such as ‘modern’, ‘clear’, ‘transparent processes’ and ‘real service’ firmly in our minds and this is what we aspire to achieve.”