Although founded in 1988, ELHA is a very modern housing association. We currently have over 1,400 homes across East Lothian, and an active development programme, building more new affordable rented homes each year for the foreseeable future.
Whilst we are based in a 17th Century building in the heart of the beautiful market town of Haddington, there is only one way to access our services – online. Our system stability and security is paramount – our hosting and security is of the same standard as the banking industry, and the last time we looked, our servers in our primary data centre were located next to those running Scotland’s 5G network! Since 2015, our digital services have only ever been down once, for one hour, and that was for a planned upgrade.
Our tenants use their My Home accounts to transact with us. For the small percentage that don’t, we have two services, My Home Help and Friends & Family. My Home Help is a staff login to My Home accounts which allow our staff to process transactions for tenants on their behalf, for example when tenants call us, visit our office, or when we are out and about in their homes, whilst Friends & Family is a login for… well, you can probably work that out. Our tenants and staff share exactly the same software and same functionality, and there is no staff training on how to use My Home Help, as there is no tenant training on how to use My Home either, so why would there be? 88% of our tenants use their My Home accounts, and 85% are completely paper-free.
Behind the scenes though, we are not that different. Our Asset Management team is fully staffed by friendly humans, who go out on site, meet people, inspect homes and so on. Our office remains open to tenants (in fact, during the pandemic, it only closed during the actual Lockdown periods), and we value having staff in our office too – there is an expectation for all staff of being in the workplace for at least 60% of their working week. Whilst a repair appointment booking is usually 100% self-service, on site the service is the same as it has always been, with skilled staff undertaking repairs in time honoured fashion.
We’re really proud of our latest innovation – our Basket of Repairs. This allows tenants to order multiple repairs, which are then grouped by trade, and carried out at the same time (with our software showing when multiple trades are available in the same appointment window). This approach is about to result in a major transformation to the way we manage a single “tenancy termination notice to new tenant at home” tenancy change and void management workflow, involving blends of automation, self-service and multi-departmental staff interaction. It’s a big project, and one of the first our new Director will be involved in.
So, whilst we might be well ahead of our sector in many of these areas, we’re still a long way from where we want to be. This is a great time to join an exciting journey, to help us truly spread our digital wings, and to help us maintain our position as a beacon for exceptional service delivery in the affordable housing world.
Find out more at elha.com