Progress through Partnership
This year has been an exceptionally busy one at Housing Partners, with the launch of Housing Jigsaw, timed to co-incide with the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) becoming law on April 3rd 2018.
The Housing Jigsaw story began back at the start of 2017 when the National Practitioner Support Service (NPSS) approached us at Housing Partners with a proposition: to create, in partnership, a ‘new breed’ of software solution that would allow local authorities to meet their legal obligations as set out in 12 key points of the pending Act.
There were strict stipulations to this partnership however; that the solution would work for local authority teams with an easy-to-use system and would be designed alongside practitioners, ensuring that their needs were listened to throughout the process – a truly intuitive platform. The solution also had to be affordable, with clear and transparent pricing – no hidden costs were a must!
And we were only too happy to agree!!!
This partnership with NPSS and the Housing Jigsaw suite of intuitive, interactive and user-friendly modules that has come out of this collaboration, has been – and continues to be – something we are immensely proud of.
Speaking to our values of working together with our partners and customers to ‘do the right thing’, we aim to be different to others in the sector and to deliver on our promises. With Housing Jigsaw, we have achieved this. In the words of our CEO, David Grint, ‘We have delivered a product in partnership with NPSS that we absolutely believe is market leading, that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, when it was supposed to do it.’
After an extensive pilot, we formally launched the first of the Housing Jigsaw modules, PRAH (Prevention, Relief, Accommodation and Homelessness) back in April of this year and have had an incredible response from local authorities using it.
PRAH has been described as ‘a breath of fresh air’ and an ‘inspiring IT system’ – feedback that makes all the hard work completely worthwhile. We will be following up with the launch of the next two modules, EHR (Enhanced Housing Register) and ATLAS (Advert To Let Allocation Service) at the NPSS National Conference next week on the 3rd & 4th July. And our fourth module in the suite, ALERT – a Duty to Refer communications and referrals portal, will be right behind them. As you can see, we’ve been rather busy!
Throughout the creation process, we have been rigorous in our approach to upholding our normal standards of quality. NPSS have been heavily involved along the way and we have no doubt that they would have taken us to task should those standards have slipped!
As Tracy Hendren, Service Lead at NPSS says, ‘We were really clear as to what we needed to get out of that [first] meeting and a lot of that comes back to the fact that we are local authority practitioners… and have worked with many IT companies, and I was very clear about what we didn’t want from our relationship with Housing Partners. We knew what the product needed to deliver, we knew why it needed to deliver it.’
It has been a highly informative process working alongside the experts in local authority homelessness prevention and housing support and their involvement has been invaluable in creating what is the only suite of solutions on the market designed for practitioners by practitioners.