Customer excellence in a digital age – Monmouthshire Homesearch

Monmouthshire Homesearch is a partnership between MCC and RSL’s, administered by MHA. The scheme is the single point of access for affordable housing with a Common Allocations Policy meaning all social housing is allocated using the same criteria regardless of landlord, ensuring a fair and consistent approach.

Since its launch in 2013, the team of 4 have validated 25,000 applications, providing 3,800 high quality homes to applicants in housing need.

Homesearch’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges individual’s face and determination to create meaningful solutions. This has been extremely challenging given the explosion of homeless households in the County although Homesearch have responded by prioritising available social housing for homeless households.

As part of a comprehensive review of the service, Homesearch engaged directly with applicants to gather insights into their needs. Responding to this feedback, the team focussed on delivering an innovative and intuitive service, meeting expectations and streamlining applicants’ interactions with Homesearch. 59 recommendations were made as a result of the review including:

  • Property adverts being dramatically improved.
  • Application form – reduced and reformatted to improve completion time and ease of completion and combination of rent and buy applications into one form.
  • The reduction of the number of bands from 7 to 4 to simplify the banding scheme.
  • Creation of a new website/portal, improving the customer experience, enabling applicants to update their circumstances, bid and check the status of current bids. This enables applicants to self-serve enabling the team to focus on those requiring additional support and advice.

The team are dedicated to ensuring applicants receive transparent and accurate information about their housing options. By setting realistic expectations, they build trust and understanding, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

The interactive map on the Homesearch website gives applicants an indication of how long they should expect to wait for social housing and the Housing Action Plan produced during the application process, giving personal tailored advice on all housing options available.

Homesearch have bespoke assisted bidding and application services for anybody needing additional support. This personalised approach ensures individuals unable to bid themselves receive assistance to navigate the process effectively.

Education is a cornerstone of Homesearch’s customer service strategy. To empower applicants, we have created a suite of informative videos that elucidate various aspects of Homesearch’s processes.

Homesearch offers a multi-channel approach, depending on the applicant’s preference. Applicants have the option to connect with Homesearch via phone, email and live chat or directly via the website’s document uploader. 

Collaborating closely with individual households that require bespoke adapted properties, epitomises the Homesearch team’s dedication to finding viable solutions for each applicant’s distinctive circumstances.