Client Spotlight

Welsh housing providers take control of new compliance responsibilities with technology

Repairs and maintenance work made easy

At a recent gathering of Social Housing Providers in Wales, hosted by MRI and the United Welsh Group, the government’s new compliance responsibilities were at the forefront of discussions. 

The enactment of the Renting Homes Wales Act (2016) in 2022 introduced new reporting and compliance responsibilities for Social Housing Providers. One significant inclusion was the requirement to ensure properties meet Fitness for Human Habitation standards.  

For United Welsh, this translated into the need for an overhaul of management systems to effectively handle repairs and maintenance while adhering to compliance standards and adopting a User-Centred Design (UCD) approach, placing tenant needs at the centre of operations. 

Others are developing their own strategies and are looking to deploy modern technology to help them to meet the new standards, manage maintenance activities, monitor, and track compliance-related activities. 

Tackling end-to-end repair and maintenance management with MRI Asset & MRI Repairs 

The automated workflows embedded in MRI Asset & MRI Repairs enable teams to comprehensively oversee maintenance tasks, encompassing routine repairs, voids, planned works, and complex jobs with a level of detail that ensures nothing is overlooked. 

Job assignment features based on priority, target dates, and the specific tasks essential for job completion optimises resource allocation and ensures that critical tasks are addressed promptly, minimising downtime, and enhancing overall operational efficiency. 

Additionally, the system allows for integration across multiple solutions, providing complete visibility for all users within the organization into the progress of various tasks, and allowing for real-time tracking, monitoring, and reporting. 

Data integrity 

Maintaining the accuracy and integrity of data, especially regarding fitness for human habitation, is crucial for regulatory compliance. MRI Asset Management & MRI Repairs are designed to ensure a single version of truth across all departments, streamlining operations with accurate and up-to-date information. This consolidation not only safeguards the accuracy and reliability of information but also streamlines operations by providing a cohesive and up-to-date view of housing-related data. 

The integration capabilities of MRI Asset & MRI Repairs promote seamless communication and collaboration across different facets of housing management, ensuring that all departments have access to accurate and real-time information. As a result, the organization can confidently meet compliance requirements and respond proactively to maintenance needs. 

Identification of damp and mould cases 

MRI Asset & MRI Repairs enhances the efficiency and accuracy of the approach to damp and mould management through tailored reporting and insightful data analysis. 

Key reporting requirements need to be met around ensuring properties are fit for human habitation, and with the previous system, distinguishing these cases from other repair jobs was operationally challenging. With these solutions, sifting and identifying specific types of maintenance tickets is simplified. 

Leveraging advanced reporting functionalities, technology allows the team to generate specific reports tailored to damp and mould instances. The system’s intuitive interface and user-friendly features empower staff to navigate complex data, ensuring that damp and mould cases are promptly identified, isolated, and addressed within the larger context of maintenance activities. 

Improved customer communication and response time 

United Welsh leverages the capabilities of technology to enhance customer satisfaction and meet the stringent requirements of the Renting Homes Wales Act. The system facilitates efficient communication by providing a streamlined channel for delivering repair updates to tenants. With MRI Repairs, the team gains quick and easy access to real-time information on ongoing repairs, enabling them to keep customers informed in a timely manner. 

The integration of MRI Asset & MRI Repairs into customer communication strategies contributes to the organisation’s drive towards a responsive and customer-centric housing experience, aligning with the evolving regulatory landscape and tenant expectations. 

Information flow optimisation 

MRI Asset optimises information flow, particularly during walk-up Fire Risk Assessments. The introduction of clear tasks, coupled with a robust escalation process and issue tracking, has significantly enhanced communication and collaboration among multiple landlords, managing agents, and service providers. By defining and assigning clear tasks within the system, the organisation can ensure that responsibilities are transparently distributed, promoting accountability throughout the assessment process. 

The escalation process allows the team to be proactive, swiftly addressing issues as they arise and preventing potential bottlenecks in communication. Simultaneously, issue tracking provides a comprehensive overview of the assessment’s progress, enabling stakeholders to stay informed and aligned with the evolving status of the assessment. 

Moving forward 

Working towards further tech-driven developments, United Welsh is trialling the deployment of IoT sensors, designed to monitor critical environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and CO2 within the housing properties. The primary objective is to aggregate sensor data, laying the foundation for comprehensive trend analysis and the identification of underlying issues. 

By leveraging these innovative technologies for Housing Management and harnessing the valuable insights derived from the IoT sensors, organisations across Wales can address immediate concerns and predict and prevent potential issues in the future. 

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