Last Updated on July 2, 2013
Category: All

The keynote speaker at this years’ Arena Tracker Network Conference at the Kings House Conference Centre in Manchester in May was Matt Leach, the CEO of HACT, a housing sector think tank/do tank, relaunched in 2012 with support from ten of the largest and most forward thinking social landlords in the country.

Taking “Changing Needs and Priorities” as the title of his informative and well received presentation, Matt Leach looked at the massive changes going on everywhere and the huge challenges these present to housing providers on all fronts. HACT’s ethos is to explore and implement ideas and innovation in the delivery of affordable housing, with a particular focus on social value and digital innovation.

Over the past couple of years the old regulatory framework around social housing provision has in the main completely disappeared, being replaced with an entirely different approach. This has meant that housing providers have been left to largely define their own objectives and performance standards. For some, this new found freedom has enabled them to make significant strides forward, having been freed from the constraints but ever mindful of the requirements and obligations. Others on the other hand have foundered a little, unsure of the direction to take to improve the quality of life and the level of services their residents receive.

Technological change has also run in parallel, significantly changing people’s ability to connect instantly with each other, impacting the way in which they communicate, and in turn this has driven changes in the way they prefer to interact with their landlords. Greater access to data for predicting needs, targeting service delivery and communicating with service users has also meant that landlords can now better profile their tenants, better tailor the services they deliver and improve on the way that this information is recorded and reported.

This altering landscape should however also be viewed in the context of the changing political and economic climates and the fact that ‘the money is running out’. As government revenues fall and the costs of key services increase, there will be less and less available for community support and responsibility for delivering many of the vital services will simply either cease or will increasingly fall elsewhere.

The need for efficiency, focus, value for money and a clear understanding of the priorities are well recognised by existing Tracker Network Members as they use the powerful Tracker software to concentrate activities where they are most effective and needed; plus accurately record all initiatives and improve efficiencies, ensuring that they meet both financial and service level objectives.

HACT is currently working with a number of housing providers to develop practical tools for the mapping of social impact and the live capture and analysis of customer data at a neighbourhood/ community level. For more on this visit