Hackney Council has streamlined the reporting and fixing of its 15,000 annual housing-related leaks by 35 per cent through a new microservices architecture and revamped user interface from Unboxed.
The housing repairs service at Hackney Council had built up an infrastructure of legacy software platforms, including Civica’s Universal Housing, Servitor and Kirona’s DRS, all resulting in unnecessarily complex processes and unstable linkages between different IT systems.
Unboxed, a service design and digital product development consultancy, worked with the council’s repairs team to identify a development opportunity around leaks, based around the council’s 15,000 leak-related repairs each year, each often requiring coordination across different properties. Unboxed formed an integrated team with the council’s interim head of repairs, case management officers as advisors, and Hackney’s IT staff for software development.
The combined team worked closely with the council’s repairs staff to test and design an efficient user interface based on Gov.uk front-end design guidelines, allowing staff to quickly filter repair jobs by trade and to identify any related repairs orders.
With Civica’s Universal Housing in the process of being phased out, the new Repairs Hub app was built around a microservices architecture and the repairs API was extended with new endpoints, enabling Hackney to develop interfaces for different teams that seamlessly interact with a variety of sources of housing data.
In side-by-side usability testing with Universal Housing, the new system allows repairs staff to complete their tasks 35 per cent faster, using 75 per cent fewer clicks. Since launching, the live system now logs around 5,000 new repairs per month, with over 18,000 repairs raised to date.