Welfare reform has placed a heavy burden on social landlords’ resources but results from an exclusive new survey reveal that many organisations are turning to technology to lighten the load. Jess McCabe reports
Luddite machine breakers in the 19th century risked everything when they destroyed the early labour-saving technology of the industrial age. They were losing their jobs to machines, leaving them in destitution. But today’s housing professionals aren’t too worried about being replaced by a robot or an iPad app.
Instead, an exclusive survey by Inside Housing and outsourcing firm Capita completed by 485 respondents reveals that housing professionals are overwhelmingly hopeful about the digital revolution, and the promise it holds to help them cope with welfare reforms. Many of these reforms, such as the bedroom tax which affects tenants with spare rooms, and universal credit, which combines many benefits – including housing benefit – into a single monthly payment direct to claimants, are expected to hit social landlords hard, as tenants struggle to pay their rent.