Midland Heart has developed a new housing portal based on Abritas software for housing transfers and mutual exchanges. The Homes Direct portal is also available as a shared service for other housing providers.
In order to deal with the challenges posed by welfare reform, Midland Heart wanted to control who had access to its homes and be able to offer housing and tenure mobility to its customers through a single housing portal that integrated transfers and mutual exchanges.
Midland Heart selected Abritas to create the new Homes Direct housing portal, using the housing register, choice-based lettings, mutual exchange and enhanced housing options software.
In the first three months of launching Homes Direct, Midland Heart received 11,000 applications and over 300 customers have since been housed through the system. The housing provider has saved over £100,000 by being in control of its own systems and allocations, and having greater control over short-lists has meant that re-let times have been reduced and void losses are £40,000 lower than expected. Bromford Living, Family Birmingham, Asra Housing Group and East Northamptonshire Council are now using the Homes Direct service.
David Taylor, deputy director for customers and communities, Midland Heart, said, “It has been a great help to have a single housing portal for all Midland Heart customers so that those people affected by welfare reform can register and start looking for alternative accommodation immediately.”