Glasgow City Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to develop a digital housing strategy.
The new document aims to improve digital housing services, tackle digital exclusion, and use technology to enhance the collection, analysis and display of housing data.
It was developed in partnership with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), private landlords and other stakeholders with an interest in housing and digital services.
A total of 32 RSLs – who own 75 per cent of the city’s social rented housing stock – provided feedback in their responses to a digital housing survey issued by the council, which has helped inform the challenges, priorities and actions outlined in the strategy.
A key aim of the plan is to expand the provision of digital housing services offered to RSL households living in the city.
But the council says traditional customer service methods such as face-to-face and telephone contact will continue to be provided to “ensure that all tenants can choose how they access housing services”.
The data provided by RSLs suggests that 65 per cent of households living in the city’s social rented housing sector do not use a broadband connection in their home.
According to Glasgow City Council, the main reasons for digital exclusion include affordability, lack of skills, and/or a reluctance to access the internet.
Working with partners to tackle digital exclusion through various initiatives and increase the provision of affordable broadband are key actions included in the digital housing strategy.
There are also opportunities for the city’s RSLs to use digital platforms to expand how customers choose to access services and housing.
The strategy says that developing a web-based ‘common housing register’ for Glasgow would assist in improving access to affordable housing for households wishing to live in the city and improve the collection of data.
And it sets out plans on how the council will engage and work closely with RSLs to develop the project going forward.
Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “The development of a digital housing strategy presents a range of opportunities for delivering service improvements across the city’s housing sector using technology and innovation.
“Glasgow City Council will continue to work effectively with Registered Social Landlords and other partners to address the challenges that are outlined in the strategy. Working together with partners to deliver the action plan will enhance access to, and the quality of, housing for many people.”
More detail on Glasgow’s Digital Housing Strategy is available here.