24 November, 2021

The connected world: How technology Is helping social housing provide better futures

Launchpad partners Vericon Systems explore how connected technologies can help manage risks before they even arise, whilst making tenants lives better, safer and healthier.

Nearly 4 million households live in social housing settings. For social housing provider issues such as rising maintenance costs, welfare issues such as fuel poverty and excess winter deaths; as well as damp and mould issues caused by poor infrastructure are a priority in managing the welfare of their tenants. But what if there was a way to stamp out these risks and issues before they even arise, whilst making tenants lives better, safer, and healthier? This is where connected technologies can help.

Nearly 4 million households live in social housing settings [1]. But here’s the real picture. Social housing providers across the UK are struggling with access issues, rising maintenance costs and welfare issues such as fuel poverty and excess winter deaths; as well as damp and mould issues most likely caused by poor infrastructure or even sometimes tenant activity. On top of all this they must remain compliant to all relevant BS regulations, mitigate the risk of fitness for human habitation claims which can be costly and time consuming, and make plans to move towards carbon net zero.

Connected Technologies are products with the ability to connect with its environment and other products [2]. These embedded technologies within the products typically comprise of sensors and processors that gather and collate data for analysis and communication [2].

Connected technologies are becoming a part of people’s everyday lives with smart home technology becoming increasingly popular. From smart meters’ monitoring energy use and improving energy efficiencies in homes, to smart speakers with virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant.

Connected technologies are already helping social housing providers tackle the issues discussed above, through a better understanding of a property’s environment and the assets within it, better decisions can be made on how best to manage properties and safeguard tenants.

BT highlighted in a report how that by using smart meters, patterns of energy use can be identified and if there is a drastic change to these patterns there may be a wellbeing issue [3]. For instance, if the evening routine usually contains an energy use spike at 7pm because someone is using the kettle, then when this does not happen it can indicate something is wrong and help can be alerted [3].

Further to this, Fire Angel are ensuring vulnerable tenants are safeguarded against the risk of fire by using connected technologies. When one interlinked alarm is triggered, all other alarms and ancillary devices are activated, alerting those who are vulnerable or hearing impaired to become aware of the fire more quickly [4].

Vericon Systems’ ecosystem of connected technologies help housing associations and building managers mitigate the risk of a range of issues in properties including non-compliance, Fitness for Human Habitation claims, and welfare issues such as fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. With data collection and interrogation through machine learning algorithms better decisions can be made, including predictions about preventative maintenance required to mitigate future faults. This will increase the longevity of devices such as boilers, reducing carbon footprint and reducing overall costs.

Our clients at Vericon Systems are already experiencing a reduction in boiler maintenance call outs of over 50%, 100% emergency light compliance, autonomously, and a reduction in vans on the road, decreasing carbon footprint and costs!

Want to find out more about how Vericon devices work and how they can help your organisation? Head on over to thier blog to find out more

Technology is ever changing and expanding, and they are no exception. If there is an issue that their clients are experiencing, they will work with them to create a new bespoke solution to alleviate it. Their regional directors work with clients continuously on a consultancy basis to ensure that they are getting the most from their connected technologies and identifying issues that could be solved through better data analysis and decision making.

We want to help all housing providers across the UK create better lives for their tenants whilst mitigating risk, reducing carbon footprint and costs. Get in touch with the Vericon team

[1] https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/housing/social-housing/renting-from-a-local-authority-or-housing-association-social-housing/latest

[2] https://itenterprise.co.uk/connected-technology-examples/

[3] https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge-base/can-connected-technologies-help-social-housing-providers

[4] https://www.fireangel.co.uk/connected-technology-protecting-the-most-vulnerable-from-fire-risk-in-social-housing/