Information Architect Richard Sage wonders what a brand new housing association would be like if it were to start up today.
This blog has been cross-posted from the Baked Idea blog by Richard Sage.
I often find this sort of thought experiment useful in my work to explore the optimum solution and the gap between it and the present state. The specific question above has been on my mind recently and then reading this recent post prompted me to write this short post.
So what would a housing association look like if it started up today?
Would it have no offices?
Would it have no contact centres?
Would its non-face to face transaction happen primarily online?
Would its staff to property ratio match Or beat Dutch peers?
How would it do repairs and maintenance, would it even do repairs and maintenance?
Would its systems be mobile first and cloud first?
Would it fully understand the macroeconomic and microeconomic impact of its decisions around its rent mix and tenure types?
Would it only develop houses that meet the passivhaus standard?
Would it pioneer sustainable, cheap home building, e.g. Structural panel techniques?
Would its homes be ‘smart’? Would the brains of the housing association not only be the people who work for it, but the analytical insight it mines automagically to inform and guide pro-active service delivery?
Would the contention between its social conscience and commercial existence be resolved?
Would its choice of revenue diversification targets be different from the low risk, low margin choices of many
I’m sure many of you could think of many other questions that grow from asking ourselves the seed question. What are your thoughts? @ me or comment below, and/or tweet use #HAversX
(btw, the title of the post is X.0 rather than 2.0 or 3.0 because, as Calum Mercer mentioned, some Housing Associations have been around in one version or another for a very longtime)