Stonewater began working with Active Housing to enhance their online tenant services. Active Housing delivered a suite of online solutions including the MyHome customer portal and a sales & lettings platform. This was to replace their existing portal which had become dated and had limited customer uptake.
Who are Stonewater?
Stonewater are a large housing association based in the South of England. They manage around 32,500 properties for around 70,000 customers. The organisation prides themselves on their core values - being ambitious, passionate, agile, commercial and ethical.
Stonewater were seeking a digital partner to help them develop their digital services online. Firstly, Stonewater were looking for a custom replacement of their existing portal. They also wanted to encompass a wider body of work such as repairs reporting and sales & lettings.
They chose Active Housing for this project due to the vast amount of experience we have in developing bespoke customer portals and housing software, as well as being able to use our off-the-shelf repairs reporting product, Active Diagnostics.
As soon as Stonewater and Active Housing started working together, several scoping workshops were put together with key stakeholders, to plan out the project and decide how it was going to be delivered. Doing this allowed the Active Housing project managers to create a project backlog of activities with associated priorities.
Active Housing’s Agile methodology was adopted by Stonewater which ensured regular sprint releases for UAT and the ability for the scope to remain flexible throughout the delivery. As the project progressed this became more and more important, as processes and goals within Stonewater had changed since the original scoping workshops. Therefore, having the ability to review and reprioritise throughout the project was essential.
Stonewater portal payments page.
The project required a number of integrations with third party organisations. A key integration was with Stonewater’s Housing Management System, Active H, supplied by MIS. This required integrating with ActiveH using MIS's standard API set, as well as creating custom workflows where API's did not currently exist, such as for obtaining housing benefit details.
The team also had to work closely with Allpay, Stonewater's payment provider, to ensure that users of My Home could pay rent and set up their direct debits online.
Overall, the integrations with all third parties ran smoothly, and allowed Stonewater to achieve their goal of providing customers with a more feature rich portal.
MVP - Phase 1
After some deliberation, the scope of phase one of the project was agreed. This was the launch of the My Home customer portal, which included the following features:
Making a rent or sub account payment i.e. court costs or recharges etc
Changing tenure types
Adding and editing household members
Updating usernames and passwords
Links to the customer hub and prompts for customers to engage
Opt in to marketing prize draws
The portal also had the ability to show different branding, colours and content on the My Home screen, depending on the tenure type of the customer.
Overall, both organisations are extremely happy with the success of the project, and the relationship they have built in the time of working together. Felicity, the Active Housing project manager, commended the success of the project and put it down to the fact that both organisations could be ‘open and honest’ with one another, building a trusting relationship. Now as the project continues, the teams are working on releasing further functionality to the portal and offering self-service for other areas of the organisation.