A easy-to-use online system is about to go live which will allow people to search for accommodation and help those facing the prospect of homelessness.
Adur & Worthing Councils, in partnership with other local authorities and housing associations, has worked with IT company Home Connections to produce a one-stop website for all social housing, lettings and housing, and homelessness advice.
Among the features of the new system will be:
- All properties managed by social housing landlords advertised online
- Customers being shown all housing options available to them
- Shortlisting for lettings and subsequent offers
- Case files being managed online - saving customers having to visit offices
- New online housing register application form for customers later in the year
Managing online will mean earlier interventions for people with housing problems which will help the council in its work to prevent homelessness. The Councils' duties to prevent homelessness are being extended under the Homeless Reduction Act from 3rd April 2018 and the new Home Connections system will be a crucial part of how the council works under the new Act.
By joining together all aspects of social housing and housing provision, and working together with other authorities the system is much more user friendly than the existing system.
This avoids duplication and makes it easier for customers to find what they want. It is also more cost efficient than the current operating systems.
Executive Member for Customer Services at Adur District Council, Cllr Carson Albury, said:
“I believe this new system will make it so much easier for people to use, to find help and to get prompt action when they need it.”
His counterpart at Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dr Heather Mercer, said:
“Finding accommodation can be a difficult and worrying process so I hope the new system helps take some of stress away from those who are looking for accommodation.”
The members of what is known as Sussex Homecare are Adur & Worthing Councils, Brighton & Hove City Council, Chichester District Council, and Mid-Sussex District Council together with Affinity Sutton, Hyde Housing and Worthing Homes.
The new Home Connections system will be going live in early April with more details to follow.