These Homes: the first year

Introduction

These Homes was launched on 22 March 2021 and has been operating very successfully for over a year. This report is a summary of the feedback received from applicants who have registered with These Homes during our first year of operation. For full feedback details, including comments, please see the quarterly reports which can be found on thesehomes.com. This report also includes a trend analysis of satisfaction over the year and information on amendments to These Homes which were suggested by applicants.

Results

Number of surveys completed: 1231

How long did it take you to register?

How long did did it take you to register?

How easy did you find it to register?

How easy did you find it to register?

Was there anything you found particularly difficult?

Was there anything you found particularly difficult?

Can you think of any improvements that would have made the process easier?

Can you think of any improvements that would make the process easier?

How have you received information?

How have you received information?

How do you rate the service?

An average of: 8.24/10

Trend analysis of satisfaction over the year:

Trend of satisfaction over the year

“You Said, We Did”

Following the launch, a number of improvements to the systems were implemented following feedback from users, some examples of this are:

Remember passwords – These Homes did not initially have this feature, but after feedback from users, it was introduced.

E-mail redesign – This was suggested several times, and while it has not yet been completed, the changes are planned and should be available shortly

Added advert functionality - This allows eligibility rules to be placed on adverts, for example, it prevents a wheelchair user for receiving adverts for properties not suitable for them, and it allows staff to better ensure that adverts are sent to only those who are eligible for the properties.

Amended ‘on hold’ rules - The requirement for applications to be held pending review, which preventing a user completing a change of circumstances, is no longer triggered unless a pre-tenancy question is answered differently. This change means that a user is not stopped from applying for properties.

“What We Cannot Do”

We received a number of common suggestions where we have been unable to take action for example:

Advertise more houses – Unfortunately whilst we would love to be able to advertise more homes we can only advertise what is available. During the pandemic, many new build projects were put on hold, so the main (and sometimes only) source for available properties were ones where the previous household had left. The good news is that new build projects have resumed, and any household which had put off a move due to the pandemic is now able to.

Communicate with each other for past applicant history – This one did come up in various formats many times. The landlords using These Homes have a data sharing agreement and do share information. However, anything which pre-dates These Homes will not be on the system. Data Protection is clear that the only information shared should be information which is necessary for your account, and as These Homes are allocated on your current circumstances, past information is not shared.

Automatically register someone with These Homes if they’re homeless – While we sympathise that registering in several places can be time consuming and stressful, particularly when dealing with the challenges that come with being homeless, this is not feasible for many reasons. These Homes does try to make the application process for a Homelessness Priority Pass as painless as possible and if you are struggling, you can contact your Homelessness Officer for help.

Let me know where I am on the waiting list so I know how close I am to getting a new home – These Homes isn’t a waiting list. As every applicant can choose which properties they apply for, and everyone has different things they’re looking for, there is no way to know how close you may be to an offer. For example, you may have been third for a 2 bedroom 2nd floor flat, but a week later you could be the twenty third for an identical 1st floor flat one street over.