The UK has a housing crisis, meaning there’s a serious lack of affordable housing. In Coventry homelessness is a real risk for many people, and is a complex concern that could worsen with complications from the pandemic.
One of Coventry City Council’s goals is to prevent homelessness in their communities and reduce the number of residents living in temporary accommodation. We supported the council to recognise ways they can work more closely with their partners in a coordinated way to prevent homelessness and find suitable and affordable permanent accommodation for residents.
We prioritised two challenges that the council wanted to resolve by putting residents at the centre of the service. The first was advice and self-service, where we focused on residents that were unable to locate quality advice, aiming to provide self-service tools to resolve their own situations. The second was helping residents with complex needs, as they can often fall in the gaps between services. Working with the digital transformation and housing and homelessness teams we created, developed and prototyped six solutions:
Advice and self serve
We created three prototypes that would help make sure residents at risk of homelessness could approach the council early and are able to resolve their own situations.
Let’s rent Coventry scheme
Coventry wants to increase the number of landlords offering residents private rented properties through their ‘Let’s Rent Coventry’ scheme. The current process for landlords to apply to be part of the scheme was arduous .
Providing landlords in Coventry with clear information and an easy route to apply to the Let’s Rent Coventry scheme made sure more landlords are aware of the scheme and encouraged an increase in applications. We designed new content and looked at the back-office process and service to design digital forms so that landlords can apply more easily.
Housing options quiz & video
To manage residents' expectations by delivering important messages and information in engaging ways we tested two ways to set expectations, which can be viewed before contacting the council or during the first contact. With residents coming in for an assessment, we introduced the quiz & video, these are now being sent to every resident as part of their booking confirmation for their assessment meeting.