UPDATE: As of 4pm Thursday 3rd July 2014, we’d had 53 innovations from 18 Housing Associations who are as follows:

  • A2 Dominion
  • Bolton at Home
  • Bromford
  • Halton Housing Trust
  • Herefordshire Housing Association
  • Knightsone
  • Muir Group
  • OrbitGroup
  • Riverside
  • Salix Homes
  • Shepherds Bush Housing Association (SBHA)
  • South Liverpool Homes
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • Switchee
  • Tower Hamlets Homes
  • Trafford Housing Trust
  • Wolverhampton Homes
  • Wulvern Housing

A rainy Sunday in the Peak District prevented some heavy duty gardening duties and prompted a perusal of the weekend’s activity on Twitter.

One particular thread that took my interest immediately was an exchange primarily between Social Networker Extraordinaire, Paul Taylor, Lead on Innovation, Service Design, Research and Development at Bromford and Carl Brown, Acting News Editor at Inside Housing. Others included in the conversation were Nick Atkin, CEO of Halton Housing Trust, Neil Jackson, a West Midlands-based housing professional, Dylan Chipp, who is a Director at Voluntas who provide business intelligence services to the Social Housing sector and my good self

Nick Atkin @nickatkin_hht Predictable -ve responses to what is a real potential VFM option for #ukhousing by @PaulBromford insidehousing.co.uk/tenancies/hous… via @insidehousing
carl brown @carlbrownIH Maybe you can fly your VFM self-assessment to the HCA by drone….@nickatkin_hht @PaulBromford #ukhousing
Neil Jackson @NDEJackson@carlbrownIH @nickatkin_hht @PaulBromford Careful Carl. You don’t want to join those who said automobile was a fad… joesherlock.com/nwsltr1.html
carl brown @carlbrownIH@NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht @PaulBromford HAs are never going to be at the cutting edge of tech innovation- let the private sector do that
Paul Taylor @PaulBromford@carlbrownIH @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht must disagree. Housing Care Support are multi billion sectors with huge challenges. Tech can support
carl brown @carlbrownIH@PaulBromford @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht using tech can but no match for big profit-making companies when it comes to innovation.
Paul Taylor @PaulBromford@carlbrownIH it’s not all about profit. It’s about agility. A @HaltonHousing can be more agile than a @Microsoft @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht
carl brown @carlbrownIH@PaulBromford @HaltonHousing @Microsoft @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht I bet Google is quaking in its boots over small HA ‘innovation labs’
Paul Taylor @PaulBromford@carlbrownIH you have to start somewhere. I’m always going to be an optimist rather than a cynic @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht
carl brown @carlbrownIH@PaulBromford @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht it’s about being a realist . HAs manage and build housing and collect rent. Focus on that.
Paul Taylor @PaulBromford@carlbrownIH really? If that’s all #ukhousing delivers then it isn’t a sector I want to be part of @NDEJackson @nickatkin_hht
Dylan Chipp @Dylan_Voluntas@PaulBromford @carlbrownIH Honestly Carl, you then to be realistic? Stop helping tenants find work, get digitally included & so on…
Nick Hill @psfnick@Dylan_Voluntas @PaulBromford @carlbrownIH I thought HAs built and supported communities using things like innovation? The ones I know do! 

The reason that I got involved and chipped in is that I have run a number of “unconferences” looking at Channel Shift in Local Gov over the last 12 months and whilst predominantly attended by Local Authorities, we’ve had a number of Social Housing people attend, with many taking an active part in sessions and helping steer/run those that focused/touch upon Digital Inclusion.

These people were clearly not just Building & Managing Houses and Collecting Rents – they were Building & Supporting Communities.

They were looking to support the Education, Employment, Wellbeing & Social Inclusion of their community of customers in the best ways possible.
So to prove a point and identify some innovation that maybe has lay hidden from the outside world for one reason or another and to crowdsource and share some great innovations from the UK Housing sector, I’m looking to source 140 pieces of innovation from Social Housing organisations over the next 140 hours (140 is the magic number due to the convo taking place on Twitter).
The clock started ticking at the publication of this post 8.59am so I have until 9.05am on Saturday 5th July to collect them.

Big up Paul Taylor who has got the balling rolling with 3 innovations from Bromford which are:

– an online assessment for residents to identify skills they have and match to jobs and volunteering opps.
Bromford Deal – a complete over haul of our service offer to focus on skills and aspirations rather than moving people into homes and leaving them.
Be Bromford – a new virtual learning centre for colleagues to increase skills that will hopefully benefit customers
Brombox and Performance Hub – a way for residents to feedback on service and receive performance updates in infographic format 

You can submit your innovation at the link below. You can submit as many as you like in one go and I will collate and share these innovations on the pscsf.org.uk website next week along with pinging a copy over to Inside Housing.
Hope you can help.

Nick Hill – Community Engagement – Public Sector Customer Services Forum (PSCSF) & #channelshiftcamp – @psfnick