NHMF Awards 2023 | summary & key learnings
The NHMF annual Awards allow social landlords and contractors to showcase best practice and innovation in the sector. All winners and shortlisted schemes provided clear evidence of the benefits to residents, landlords and the wider community from innovation, technology, and partnership working between landlords and supply chains. The sector must be willing to learn from one another and to share what works and what does not work, particularly as it faces increasing scrutiny by Government, the Regulator, the Housing Ombudsman, media, and residents themselves. The sector needs to build on what is good and must be willing to change. These Awards show how it can improve efficiency, reduce unnecessary costs, and avoid common pitfalls to ensure residents live in homes fit for the 21st Century, homes that are safe, warm, and healthy.
Congratulations to the Winners
- Best Customer Impact: Platform Housing Group (PHG) & Voicescape
- Most Innovative Property Service and Delegates’ choice: Orbit & Parametrix
- Best Net Zero Carbon Initiative: Westminster CC & Morgan Sindall Property Services
- Rising Star Award: Katie White, Ian Williams
What were the common themes?
- Technology – all the schemes used technology to address challenges in the sector to improve the service being provided to customers. One award showed how IoT was used to help residents stay warm and healthy in their homes without unaffordable energy bills, by advising them on how best to use their heating and ventilation. Another award used BIM and digital technology to help landlords have all the information they need about existing buildings to comply not only with the Building Safety Act but also plan what is required to decarbonise their stock to meet Net Zero Carbon. While landlords have faced ongoing problems of not being able to gain access to homes to carry out compliance checks, such as annual gas safety certificates or fire safety inspections, the schemes showed the range of technology-based solutions available. Such technology not only improves access for compliance checks but also reduces time wasted by operatives not being able to gain access and associated carbon emissions. The awards showed that the appropriate use of technology can improve the efficiency and efficacy of the service offered to residents to keep them safe, healthy, and warm. It also reduces operating costs at a time when budgets are constrained.
- Proactive resident engagement – many of the projects showed the importance and benefits of residents being engaged and involved throughout the project. This should start well before proposals have been decided so that residents can shape the project by contributing their own experience and thoughts when they understand what landlords are trying to do. A variety of different approaches were used – a show-home, an App (using IoT) to ‘nudge’ residents, and a more responsive call centre booking system that enabled residents to book and rearrange visits at their convenience. As well as helping residents, the systems allowed landlords to focus their resources on the residents who needed more help.
- Recruiting and retaining talent – all the Rising Star candidates were women, who had moved into a largely male-dominated sector from other businesses because they wanted a change and were attracted to the sector. All candidates were keen to learn new skills, to accept challenges and responsibility. They each showed the potential to go far in their organisations and to be ambassadors, not just for their businesses but also for the sector as a whole. With the sector’s current skills crisis, such candidates offer a way forward for organisations willing to look outside the sector for the talent and diversity they need and to change perceptions.
What can the sector learn from the NHMF Awards?
- All the approaches and technology used by these schemes can be used by others. This was a question addressed in each award and is designed to inspire and to demonstrate the wider relevance for the sector.
- Benefits of showcasing and sharing best practice and innovation so the sector can learn from other organisations. The NHMF is committed to sharing best practice to improve the performance of how the sector manages and maintains its homes for the benefit of its residents, something the Government, Regulator and Ombudsman are all focusing on.
- Collaboration and long-term partnerships offer opportunities to improve and innovate.
What were the 2023 NHMF Conference themes?
- Technology & Innovation
- Asset Management & Resident Safety
- Carbon Net-Zero
- Leadership & Talent Retention
Where can I find out more?