AIMLogic started to come to life in 2018, when at Housing Partners we hosted a round table event for housing providers, attended by – amongst others – representatives from progressive landlord ForHousing. Through this discussion, we hoped to uncover the income management challenges faced by the sector, with the aim of ultimately developing a solution that would answer that need.
Director of Income Maximisation at ForHousing, Justin Freeman describes the day: “It was a really fruitful conversation and one of the things that rapidly became apparent was that all the organisations represented around the table had very common issues that they were trying to resolve in response to prevailing sector problems.”
Core and common challenges around the table included the ongoing reforms to the welfare system, staffing capacity and the difficulties involved in collecting the revenue needed to operate, meaning that it was becoming increasingly difficult to give tenants the level of support needed to sustain their tenancies. “Out of that little seed,” Justin explains, “grew the idea of preparing a piece of kit that could support organisations to achieve those outcomes.”
Through extensive consultation, this ‘piece of kit’ entered development to be shaped into AIMLogic. It was following this, that we first spoke with Cardiff-based, Taff Housing Association about what we were creating.
Income and Communities Manager at Taff, Rhodri Thomas remembers that first meeting: “The way it was delivered to me, I was sold on the spot. We’d been looking at predictive rent collection systems, but we weren’t overly impressed. We were hoping there would be something else out on the market, but we were thinking we were going to have to wait a long time for housing systems providers to produce something. Then this came up and it was a perfect opportunity to build something that works for us without having to buy ‘off the shelf’ where you just have to take what you’re given.”