HOMESin is the UK’s supported and social housing portal. It enables local authorities, landlords and support providers to collaborate to house people well and end voids quickly and much, much more besides.
It’s for people or organisations that need to find supported or social housing for someone with additional housing needs, and for landlords and support providers that have appropriate accommodation available. It’s accessible to people who are looking for supported housing and for people who already live in supported housing.
Think of HOMESin as a combination of TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Compare the Market, Zoopla and so on. The ability to search for a particular type of accommodation in a particular area, to see visual pictures/virtual guided tours of it, information about the rent and service charges, the landlord and/or support provider, read reviews from people who live there/have lived there, view qualitative and quantitative data about it, for example, the outcomes it achieves with people, the cost-benefit to the public purse and its wider social benefit.
Landlords and support providers can list and manage their vacancies in real-time. It’s free to do so and you pay the equivalent of just one week’s core rent when you successfully let accommodation through HOMESin.
HOMESin is a UK-wide solution that is as helpful (and free) to, for example, a Scottish Partnership Board as it is to any other health and social care commissioning infrastructure anywhere in the UK.
But it’s not just about finding appropriate accommodation for people.
In England, for example, local authorities will be required to operate according to a National Statement of Expectations for supported housing. These standards are similar to those that devolved administrations might have or might consider in their own national context.
Local authorities have to manage and shape the supported housing market. HOMESin was born out of the experience of a local authority commissioner who identified an oversupply of accommodation for people with learning disabilities (in that case) in circumstances where it was believed that demand outstripped supply.
But HOMESin is much more than the database that underpins the information a user of the portal would see. It will provide local authorities with comprehensive quantitative information about supported housing and services in their area, whether they commission it or not.
It will also provide comprehensive qualitative information about what the supported housing provides, how well it does so, what outcomes it achieves, what it costs, what people think of it, what it looks like, where it is and so on.
There is rightly a debate about regulation and oversight for supported housing and whilst HOMESin doesn’t claim to be a regulatory oversight system, it will provide very useful real-time data for regulation and oversight purposes as well as supported housing market management and shaping.
There is a lot of discussion within supported housing and social/healthcare about the need for ‘disruptive innovation’ (aka ‘disruptive tech’); it’s the sort of initiative or idea that forces positive change on systems that, for whatever reasons, aren’t working as well as they should.
HOMESin is an example of disruptive innovation because it will enable statutory sector agencies to find supported housing for people who need it and provide very valuable qualitative and quantitative information at absolutely no cost and to the benefit of all. It enables collaboration in real time between commissioners, landlords, providers and people. It enables us to house people well and end voids quickly.
HOMESin is nearing the end of its testing phase with an early October launch scheduled. Local authority interest has been very significant as has interest from landlords and support providers. HOMESin is a Value Generation system that costs the statutory sector absolutely nothing and the housing and support sector the equivalent of a single week’s core rent, and only if they house someone via HOMESin.
We’ve just launched our new website at www.ukhomesin.com. Please have a look and register your interest.