Case study

The Housing App

Transforming efficiency and cost savings with The Housing App

The app streamlined the HHSRS inspection and assessment process for this local authority in a number of ways.

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RHE Global

7 Feb 2024

Row of terraced houses
Row of terraced houses
Row of terraced houses

The challenge

We had joined forces with a local authority within an urban city, comprising approximately 130,000 residential dwellings with a variety of tenure profiles.

During the period 2017 to 2022, there was a 200% rise in housing service requests, from approximately 400 in 2017/18 to 1,200 in 2020/21 in the region. This increase was attributed to better recording practices, an increase in complaints and expanded team duties. The number of house inspections rose significantly in response to more complaints and proactive targeting of properties with potential hazards. The Covid-19 pandemic also triggered an upsurge in housing grievances. 

The solution

These factors necessitated a shift towards digital working and, as a result, switching to The Housing App became an obvious move. The app streamlined the HHSRS inspection and assessment process for the local authority in a number of ways. 

Key efficiency and cost-saving benefits were:

  • Time savings: The app reduced the time required per case (inspection, assessment, and post-inspection activities) from 6 to 3.5 hours – a reduction of approximately 42%, or 2.5 hours per inspection.

  • Cost savings: The cost of a single inspection came down from £190 in Year 1 to £110 in Year 5. In a team equivalent to six full-time EH, housing and principal officers, this resulted in an annual saving of £21,200, which equates to approximately 60% of one full-time post and a net saving of £80,400 by Year 5.

  • More confidence in more consistent assessments: By automating a standardised HHSRS assessment process, outcomes had fewer discrepancies. The process became more transparent because the team manager was able to review inspection findings and assessments in real time, elevating the work of the team.

  • Improved efficiency: The app delivered a 10% increase in enforcement activity.

  • Future-proofing through digitisation: The Housing App delivered a return on investment within six weeks of adoption and provided an avenue through which further efficiencies and savings could be realised, by fully digitising housing functions.

The local authority has since undertaken a study comparing the workflow of a housing enforcement team (of six officers and a service manager) using the app for a full year with statistics recorded for the full year prior to adoption (2017/18). It found that the team made 280 inspections during ‘the app year’ compared to 160 in 2017/18, showing a 75% increase in inspections. The research was undertaken through interviews and performance and data analysis within the local authority.

Not only that . . .

The housing team found adopting the app easy, requiring a mere two hours to become familiar with it. Setup was simple, with no IT work for the local authority to undertake other than selecting suitable mobile or tablet devices.

The transition to digital and hybrid working resulted in a reduction in physical office space for the team and, thereby, associated savings.

Think The Housing App might be for you?

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© 2023 RH Environmental Limited trading as RHE Global. All rights reserved.

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© 2023 RH Environmental Limited trading as RHE Global. All rights reserved.

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Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates

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© 2023 RH Environmental Limited trading as RHE Global. All rights reserved.