Benefits & Housing Needs Service Redesign Project – Sprint Notes 3: Sharing the love

As the romance of valentines day fades we would like to share the love by updating you on the great things that are happening with the Benefits & Housing Needs Service Redesign project. 

Understanding Vulnerability + Shared Plan:

The basic idea – Spot red flags > Understand context > Build a shared plan

We know that our staff are aware of a lot of events in customers’ lives. So the focus has been on how we utilise these triggers to understand a customer’s vulnerability.    

We’ve been testing a tool with 4 Officers from Benefits, to help us understand what ‘trigger events’ happen e.g. ESA ending, which contribute to a customer’s vulnerability. Then to identify the best ways the service can support them. 

The Tool

What did we learn?
  • Officers have a good sense if the resident they’re working with is vulnerable
  • There are cultural and practical barriers (e.g. targets!) that currently limit the amount of additional support they can offer
  • The paper prototype is a useful prompt and way in to working in this way
  • How can we use tools like this and give you the time, space and permission to give the best possible support to residents?

Next we are starting to think about how the tool develops into a working prototype that supports staff and fits with current processes. As well as, how do we start creating a shared plan that helps a customer with their vulnerability by utilising their strengths?

Single View:

This seems a timely point to highlight the importance of people within the service being able to easily spot the excellent work that is going on around understanding vulnerability. Naturally the best place for this is the Single View – so watch this space.

The latest teams to join the Single View Crew are Housing Register and Settled Homes. To make the day to day user experience more effective we have been squashing all the bugs. As well as making sure our feedback loop is to a high standard, so that we know what to do first. 

Enter stage left ……….. A new starring role in the Single View…….Comino documents. Meaning more documents are easily accessible in one place. Moving forward, we will be identifying where we can have the most value and putting measures against this. 

Make sure you follow Soraya’s weeknotes for a more in-depth look at the Single View!

Information + Evidence:

Another super busy two weeks, especially with Chris Caden pushing the energy through and getting stuff done! Last week we showed you a very insightful graph that showed changing expectations around wait times for social housing. We’ve updated this with some more data and we can clearly see the work having some solid results.

On top of this, Chris has been running a number of website content drop-in sessions; specifically around:

  • ‘Join the Housing Register’ page (50,000 views a year)
  • ‘Housing Options and Advice’ page (33,000 views a year)

We wanted to learn how we can improve these pages to:

  • Better set housing expectations 
  • Improve the way we promote alternatives in the private rented sector 

Some key bits of feedback included; ‘It’s too long, we don’t want to be reading War and Peace.’, ‘This page doesn’t include any information on other housing options.’ and ‘We need to give the facts about the waiting times.’ 

In response, the team has already started to prioritise a design for a whole new website.  Looking at; 

  • Title change 
  • Set expectations early, explaining the poor likelihood of receiving a property from the register 
  • Includes wait times by bed size and band
  • Condense the content into a shorter space  
  • Promote alternative housing solutions

Another exciting piece of news is that we are starting to embed the waiting times tool with the Mayor’s Office. Remember to email Chris Caden ( if you want to find out more!

Want to know more?

Well keep following our notes and posts, and feel free to get in touch with me ( or Scott ( if you’d like to chat through any of the work.

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