Posted on 19 October 2016
Hyde is first housing association to use online benefits and employment platform
We will be the first housing association to use BetterOff, the online platform which brings benefits and employment together in one, easy, digital space.
BetterOff, developed by Kirklees Council’s digital team, LookingLocal, combines benefits eligibility, applications, appeals and comprehensive employment tools.
This helps to ensure residents are better off with the benefits they’re entitled to, have improved job prospects, and are able to pay their rent on time.
“We, at Hyde, are working towards digitally transforming most of our current services as we recognise that tenants increasingly want to access services (and information) in this way. Where possible, we’re aiming to offer our tenants a self-serve option, so BetterOff seemed a perfect fit,” said Jahanara Rajkoomar, Head of Community Investment.
At Hyde, benefit, money advice and employment support is delivered by a number of teams, and together they see around 8,500 people every year in need of some form of assistance.
BetterOff will extend the reach of these teams, reduce the cost of providing advice in outlying geographies, and deliver time efficiencies. It pulls multiple jobs databases together creating a one-stop shop for jobseekers, so this employment support will also deliver genuine value to Hyde.
“Using BetterOff means we’re able to offer our tenants a high-quality self-serve advice service and ensure no-one will fall through the net,” explained Jahanara.
In addition, BetterOff will save Hyde money by creating an excellent self-serve option that drives residents on-line. The co-browsing feature has the potential to reduce the need for home visits to tenants. On average, we expect residents using BetterOff to gain £635 each in unclaimed benefits.
BetterOff is a fully responsive site which can be accessed on computers, smartphone and tablets.
In implementing BetterOff, Hyde joins Kirklees Council, Stockport Council and the London Borough of Enfield where the platform is already live.