A new digital service for tenants that will ultimately lead to thousands of new affordable homes has earned Richmond Housing Partnership a UK Business Award at the 2017 finals in Wembley Stadium.

The company’s RHPi service impressed judges at the November 22 event, when it was outlined how the technology is saving the firm money and allowing them to channel more funds towards the construction of new homes.

As a result, they were named winners of the Not for Profit and Charity category.

RHP’s Chief Executive David Done said his team were “thrilled” to have walked away with a coveted ‘Don’ trophy for their innovative service – the first of its kind launched in the UK.

“RHPi is designed to significantly reduce our operating costs whilst also improving the speed, convenience and overall experience for customers through quick and easy to use online services,” David explained.

“As part of the service, people will get a good quality, smart home on a five-year fixed term tenancy. Customers are entitled to essential and emergency repairs and 24/7 access to online services. There’s even the opportunity to receive digital employment advice and support. The icing on the cake however, is the cash-back customers will receive at the end of the five years if they’re in a position to move on and have been a good tenant– a helping hand with their next step.”

David said RHPi was trialled in April 2016 before being fully rolled out one year later.

“Already we’re seeing signs that it’s both an improved service – our tenant satisfaction has gone up – and is lower cost, as we’ve seen a reduction in our operating cost per home. The savings we make are going to help us invest £250 million over the next six years in building a further 2,000 affordable homes.”

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