AdviceAid has been shortlisted for the UK Housing Awards innovator of the year. We wanted to unpack using the award’s criteria, why AdviceAid has been nominated.

Criteria 1: thinking outside of the box

The traditional advisor-centred model of advice services, common in most housing authorities, is costly in terms of resources. Researching, creating, updating and sharing advice takes time and skill. With increasing caseloads, there is always a risk that the pipeline of support slides nearer to intervention rather than prevention. This leads to a risk of increased homelessness episodes and greater cost to the taxpayer.
 
AdviceAid is innovating in the arena of housing advice by focusing on three fundamental ideas:
  • Keep the end-user at the centre of all services.
  • Homelessness prevention is the name of the game – effective and early advice leads to prevention.
  • To be effective, advice needs to be tailored to the customer, of high quality and consistent.

AdviceAid is helping housing teams by providing tailored advice directly to citizens. Advice that is highly accessible and empowering change. A digital service that enables advisors to focus on other parts of their job, confident their advice duty is being taken care of.

Criteria 2: original thinking

AdviceAid has turned the provision of advice on its head. Every element of the experience is tailored to empower customers to help themselves. Enabling housing teams to support their customers, 24/7, through their mobile devices, and often at the moment of crisis.

Criteria 3: what can others in the sector learn from you?

AdviceAid is an industry-champion on prevention through advice, a regular contributor to written articles and speaking at industry events on the benefits of a clear advice strategy. Our underlining principles of quality, tailored and consistent advice has wide application. We have demonstrated that effective housing advice can be delivered in non-traditional ways.

Criteria 4: why has the past year been particularly outstanding?

The COVID-19 pandemic has really demonstrated the benefits of AdviceAid. With face-to-face services restricted, an uplift in users to the SelfServ tool for all customer local authorities was noted. Citizen’s expect high-quality digital services, and access to key information on demand. The pandemic has really shown the benefits and potential efficiency gains when services are digital by design.