• Huume Newsroom

Keeping IT solutions in sync with housing policies

Updated: Jul 19


One of the most common areas of frustration our clients encounter is that their Housing IT solutions are out of sync with their policies. Over time their policy has been updated with small changes, or new schemes have been introduced by registered providers that require new allocation rules. These changes then result in the wrong applicants appearing on the wrong shortlists, in the wrong positions.


Users then have no choice but to implement inventive workarounds to try and make the system fit the policy. Quite often this involves a spreadsheet or two! Whilst this might seem a quick fix it creates a whole host of other issues; lack of audit trails, data protection issues, etc.


IT – both the problem and solution

IT systems are quite often the main cause of the problems, but can also be the answer as well. They are ideal for capturing data and enforcing process rules. Within housing allocations this covers two key parts of the process; managing housing register applications and creating shortlists.


If IT solutions are the perfect answer for managing allocations then why does it not always work? The two primary reasons tend to be time and money. Changes to legacy allocation systems normally need to be undertaken by the supplier which can be prohibitively expensive. In addition to this, lead times can be many weeks or months and by the time they are delivered they may already be out of date.


Small changes are quite often delayed until a bigger set of updates are needed, to make them more cost effective. However over time this results in the system becoming more and more out of sync with policies, and by the time a large update is needed this can then be too expensive to have done.


Modern IT systems provide users with more control and allows them to configure more aspects of the system themselves. This type of functionality provides the ability to react to changes in policies and requirements far quicker. It also removes unexpected costs as you no longer need to rely on the supplier to make the changes for you.


What should you look for in a new system?

If you are reviewing your Housing IT systems then what are some of the key requirements that you should consider for any new solution?


The following items relate to the two key parts of the process we identified earlier.


Housing Register

Housing Register data is fundamental to the process, and making sure you have the correct most up-to-date data possible.


The following areas help to achieve this:

  • Straightforward application form - that is mobile friendly

  • Intelligent form – that only asks questions that are relevant

  • Automated application process - where possible

  • Online submission - of supporting documents

  • Simple to submit change of circumstances


Eligibility & shortlisting

Ensuring the right people are in the right place on the shortlist is vitally important and means they can be processed far more efficiently. A system can help achieve this if it offers the following functionality:

  • Provides criteria to cover all types of properties you need to allocate

  • Allows criteria to be easily updated and changed to account for new properties or schemes as they are created

  • Allows changes to easily be made Housing Register data to support new shortlisting criteria

  • Provides a fully auditable process

  • Supports different allocation types; i.e. CBL, generated shortlists, Direct Match


If you would like information about how Huume can transform your housing allocations please get in touch:


T: 0118 336 1005 | E: contact@huume.co.uk