Imagine a cold December day. The elderly lady had been saving on gas for months to finally heat her home on Christmas Day. Living in her small social flat, she silently endured the chill because she struggled to afford both food and warmth, determined to remain independent.
However, a remarkable change occurred when intelligent technology stepped in. By constantly monitoring energy usage and temperature, the council noticed her unacceptable living conditions and took immediate action to help. This heartwarming story highlights the incredible power and potential of using the latest technology in social housing.
The unassuming superpower of IoT devices
At the recent Data and Digital Conference, Duncan Forrow from Switchee explained how IoT-based devices are used to revolutionise social housing management and improve the well-being of tenants. By strategically deploying sensors that monitor humidity, temperature, CO2 levels and other environmental factors, housing providers gain valuable insights to ensure resident safety, comfort and satisfaction.
Don't underestimate these small IoT-powered devices. Working discreetly, they collect and transmit crucial data, benefiting both landlords and tenants. Housing providers can proactively address maintenance needs, optimise operational processes and enhance resident services. Simultaneously, residents can improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. The true magic happens when these sensor insights combine with existing data, such as building and public spaces details, tenant information, and maintenance records. With this comprehensive knowledge, social landlords can detect issues like mould and damp and combat the challenges of fuel poverty.
Fighting fuel poverty and ensuring well-being:
A recent parliamentary report revealed that a significant percentage of households in the UK face fuel poverty, struggling to afford adequate heating - around 13% in England, 25% in Scotland, 12% in Wales, and 18% in Northern Ireland. By closely monitoring residents' energy usage, landlords can take preemptive measures to prevent health hazards and protect their properties from neglect and damage.
Imagine an invisible guardian tirelessly working behind the scenes, silently and diligently protecting the most vulnerable. This is the power of smart devices, real-time data, and predictive analytics in social housing. Through the wonders of IoT technology, residents can enjoy warmth, safety and comfort in their homes and outside. This potential not only uplifts individuals but also aligns with the urgent need to decarbonise homes and reduce costs, benefiting both people and the environment.
Collaborating for a holistic approach
While smart technology in social housing has already showcased its transformative potential, it's exciting to explore what can take it to the next level. Combining the wealth of data and insights gathered through IoT sensors with information and services provided by other organisations and partners can create a 360-degree view of properties and residents. We are thrilled to see the incredible benefits of our I'M Home solution. Using system integration technology, our customers can gather, combine and analyze a wealth of information from various platforms. By transforming data into meaningful insights, I'M Home enables better decision-making and superior outcomes.
Let's take it further - imagine a scenario where social housing providers seamlessly collaborate with healthcare organisations, charities, educational institutions and local community services. By sharing data and resources, social landlords can gain a deeper understanding of residents' needs and offer tailored support beyond the confines of housing. This collaborative effort ensures that individuals receive the required assistance, leading to improved health outcomes and strengthening community connections.
For instance, by integrating health records and social housing data, healthcare professionals can identify individuals at risk of respiratory issues due to poor living conditions. Educational institutions can access data to offer targeted educational programs and resources to uplift the younger generation. Local community services can leverage this information to provide specific support services to residents, tackling social isolation and fostering a sense of belonging.
The possibilities are immense when we join forces and break down the silos between different sectors. By combining information and services, we create a powerful network that addresses the multifaceted needs of social housing residents. This collaborative approach propels us towards a future where technology and human compassion work hand in hand to empower and uplift individuals, enabling them to thrive in all aspects of life.
The heartwarming story of the elderly resident finding solace in improved living conditions is just the beginning of the transformative journey offered by intelligent technology in social housing. As we move forward, let us embrace the potential of collaboration and integration. By combining data and services with other departments and organisations, we can create a holistic approach that caters to the diverse needs of residents. Together, we can forge a future where technology and human compassion converge, empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives within their homes and communities.