Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Perfect (Housing) Day

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here
On the 12th November 2014, anyone in housing and does a bit of Twitter, will know that was #HousingDay. A phenomena punctuated by John Popham's roadtrip and a reputed tweet-reach (yes I think Twitter nerds do describe it as that) of 7.5 million. Here's a few tweets and opinions that show a window on the day

Here is a less positive tweet from the day just showing that #ukhousing is not all good news. Tenants & local activists are always pushing us harder to improve and be better. In fairness, from what I see, the sector is up for improvement. I believe in a 'real-news' not a 'good-news' culture. Well look where a good news culture got IDS with his Universal Credit project. ( ).

I spent my #HousingDay at an arts centre in Leamore, north of Walsall (Forest Arts Centre), doing some work with Walsall Housing Group (hashtag #whg since you wondered). It had been set for that day for many months and a fantastic amount of preparation went into it. More than 240 internal repair trade operatives were involved, a lot of their team leaders, and about 12 housing staff, including some directors. Change and improvement was in the air, as we were looking at how a project (hashtag #Dovetail since you wondered), would transform the repairs service, availability of materials and better service to customers.

The #whg Walsall Housing Group #Dovetail Trades day 12/11/2014
The project will make #whg repairs more efficient, save operatives time and deliver even more exceptional service to customers. Everyone wins and this day, part of a big communication, will help the core project team harness ideas and comments that will contribute to that aim.

I know a lot of folk at this organisation and it's a very good one, although I know few trade colleagues. By the end of the event I had chatted in detail to about a half dozen, all appearing pretty inspired, positive and up for change to do things better and improve neighbourhoods, across Walsall. I have got to admit, I was surprised and a bit humbled. These lads (& a few ladies) were at the sharp end of the repairs service and clearly cared about what they did. This is the type of story that would more accurately describe social housing, rather than the usual red top tabloid fodder of scroungers.

If you work in housing and bother to find out the facts, it's an essential part of UK life. Even if we have a nice mortgaged house in a nice area, chances are that some social housing is barely a 10 minute walk away. Better social housing neighbourhoods = better you and me neighbourhoods.

Now, anyone who follows me knows that I do a lot of Twitter. I do my best to give good twitter. However, once again let's not fool ourselves. Getting the world (well UK at any rate), to walk a day in our shoes, housing needs to go way beyond just Twitter. The hundred top tweeters on here take the risk of us all just shouting at ourselves.

From the dismal options we have at next May's elections (hashtag #May2015 since you wondered), I fear it will take much more than a single #Housingday each year, to move the housing shortage and the shortage of affordable (small 'a' up the agenda). Cmon #UKhousing, wake up to this before it's too late and lets truly reach 7.5 million UK adults (most of them not on Twitter). Get the real story out there. No one else will do it. Better to regret what you did, rather than what you wished you had done.

If you are attending next weeks London Olympia NHF IT conference, I will be there both days. If you follow me here, please DM me, or contact me via Linkedin and say hello at the event. Being a NW lad, I will also be at the Manchester Central version on the Thursday 27th. Equally if you are visiting that one, let me know. At the Olympia event, whg will be doing a session called 'Personalising The Call'. Come and see Ann Parkes, one of my users at Walsall, share her experience of how technology, people and process = great customer service and a cabinet of awards. 

If you think your organisation could use some help with your ICT or housing processes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Related Post: Is this the time for DLOs to make a come back?


You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Lou Reeds - Perfect DayLou Reeds - Perfect Day.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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