Golding Homes, formerly Maidstone Housing Trust, and Habinteg Housing Association are upgrading their web sites with VerseOne and its Spearhead CRM tool, including compliance with the latest web accessibility guidelines.
Following its name change, Golding Homes has been completely rebranding itself, which naturally includes its web presence.
Claire Boxall, PR and communications manager, Golding Homes, said, “The last website had a redesign around 4 years ago. We knew we could improve it, but tying it into the rebrand process made sense. We already have a fair number of online services for our customers, but we don’t signpost them well enough. We also wanted to implement a content management system, to give colleagues greater access to, and ownership of, various sections of our website.”
VerseOne was chosen as Golding Home’s web partner. Boxall said, “VerseOne’s experience of working with other housing providers meant that we didn’t have to explain our business to them, and they understand the needs of our customers. We were also impressed with their understanding of accessibility issues.”
Getting serious about accessibility
Habinteg Housing Association, which has a diverse customer base of disabled and non-disabled tenants, approached VerseOne to ensure that its web site was totally accessible to all of its tenants.
Habinteg designs ‘Lifetime Homes’ and wheelchair-standard properties and works with other housing providers and key agencies to campaign for accessible, inclusive housing, eliminating barriers and creating housing opportunities for disabled people. To ensure the same ethos applied to Habinteg’s web site, VerseOne wanted to ensure the new site complied with the very highest level of accessibility, Web Accessibility Initiative Guidelines (WAIG) level AAA.
Alex Perry, senior communications officer, Habinteg Housing Association, said, “Accessibility is of paramount importance to us. Difference has always been a founding principle and for good reason. Web accessibility is not difficult to achieve and need not compromise the design.
“There has been an improvement in online accessibility over the last few years, and with so many simple tricks and technologies available there is no excuse to exclude anyone from using a web site.”
The Habinteg web site is already live and the Golding Homes site is expected to be live by the end of March 2010. VerseOne reported that the cost of the Golding and Habinteg web site development projects was £20,000 and £18,000 respectively.