Client Spotlight

Lichfield District Council Transforms its Housing Allocations Process

Lichfield District Council


In 2021, Lichfield District Council replaced its housing register and choice-based lettings platform with MRI Allocations, part of the MRI Housing Options solution set.

At the time, Beverley Dickinson-Gardner, Housing Options Project Officer at Lichfield District Council, had a vision for a new solution choice-based lettings solution and housing register that would enhance the customer experience, minimise the resources needed to administer the system and maximise available housing stock.

We recently spoke to Beverley about the impact MRI Housing Options has had on their staff, organisation, and customers over the past two years, as well as the ongoing partnership Lichfield District Council has with MRI.

Since its introduction, what impact has MRI Allocations had on your team, organisation, and residents?

“MRI Allocations has helped the team to reduce the administration time it takes to advertise and shortlist properties, so we do things much more quickly now, which has removed any of the frustrations previously felt by local registered housing providers. ”

The new solution allows us to collate and manage applications, provides prospective customers with information about housing register wait times, eliminates duplication of tasks, and is so easy to use that we have seen a reduction in property void times and waiting times for applicants.

Our prospective customers are also much happier, as they can self-serve and better manage their applications. Features like the interactive map allow applicants to immediately see what and where housing is available – giving them the choice and ability to bid on properties that meet their needs.”

A digital transformation

The new solution has helped the Lichfield team to transform its Housing Register and Allocations process as it:

  • Maximises available resources.
  • Automates repetitive tasks.
  • Minimises void times.
  • Enables applicant monitoring at any time.

“The solution has made a significant difference to us by ensuring that our Housing Register is only available to qualifying or eligible applicants. As applicants can no longer self-verify their banding and change their answers to award themselves a higher priority, we can now more efficiently manage applicants and their expectations.”

An enhanced customer experience.

MRI Allocations has also significantly improved the customer experience. An example is our Housing Application forms, which meet our specifications and Allocations policy and have been simplified to make them easier to complete by the applicant, with little or no support from us.

Our new customer portal enables customers to self-serve, allowing them to upload their documents, sign their declaration forms, and inform us of any change in their circumstances.”

Prospective customers are much happier since the introduction of the new portal, as they get an enhanced experience comparable to a website like Rightmove – with professional-looking ads and detailed information about the area, including schools, transport, and local amenities.

Gaining time, insight, and efficiency

The feedback from our Housing and Allocations teams has also been incredibly positive, as the new solution has helped our Housing Officers to better manage their time and workloads by auto-generating all necessary documentation and closing incomplete applications.

“MRI Allocations is so easy to use that we can now allow our approved providers to self-serve and upload their property adverts – saving the Lichfield team a lot of time.”

We can also be more efficient with our limited housing stock by including more exact details and labelling on our property adverts. This improvement has meant that customers are more likely to accept offers, resulting in shorter void periods, which is especially important given the rise in demand for housing.

The reporting functionality allows us to give applicants more realistic information, such as the average waiting time for a property type, bedroom requirement or specific area and gives us a better understanding of what our customers need and why they need to join the housing register. We can also use the housing demand data generated in the solution to influence future housing development and find gaps in support or services to provide a more tailored provision.

Working in partnership

“We collaborate closely with the team at MRI and see our relationship as one of our partnerships. By working together, we hope to help improve the lives of our residents and the communities in which they live.”


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