Not-for-profit company Capital Letters has made a major move in its work to tackle the homelessness crisis by partnering with unique property maintenance company EVO Digital Technologies (EVO) to digitalise its repairs, maintenance and compliance services through a unique tenant-driven platform.
By automating a large part of the administration process related to the management of the repairs service through EVO, tenants will benefit from an excellent and responsive service and Capital Letters can reinvest its time and resources into finding more homes for homeless families in London.
Capital Letters was established in 2019 in response to London’s homelessness crisis and mounting costs for councils. Funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the Company’s free service gives landlords easy and efficient access to suitable tenants across London whilst ensuring that properties meet required standards. By working in partnership with London Boroughs and private landlords, Capital Letters has helped over 4,000 families find a secure home since they started three years ago.
In March 2022, DLUHC statistics show there were 56,500 households in Temporary Accommodation (TA) in London, representing 60% of the total across England. Of these, over 38,000 had children (68%). Capital Letters’ members expect this number to rise to 100,000 during the current financial year. The company was created on a pan-London basis to enable boroughs to work collaboratively to combine resources, drive efficiency, equalise access and fair distribution of properties for members, reduce costs and competition for homes while increasing supply, support tenancies to be successful and deliver positive system change for London.
The partnership with EVO will allow Capital Letters to offer a holistic tenant focused housing management service, by using innovative and customer focused technology. This will empower tenants to arrange repairs at a time which suits them, rather than a contractor trying to meet arbitrary target dates.
“I am delighted that Capital Letters is partnering with EVO to provide a unique and innovative repairs service which puts tenants at the heart. Innovation is at the heart of what Capital Letters does, driving change and creativity in everything we do. This partnership adds breadth and depth to the Company’s range of services as well supporting our primary objective of finding good quality, affordable secure homes so families can move out of temporary accommodation or avoid becoming homeless. Our partnership with EVO will allow us to add further value to our work with our member boroughs, increasing supply to address the homelessness crisis in London, driving up standards in the private rented sector and supporting successful tenancies for both landlords and tenants,” says Sue Coulson, CEO of Capital Letters.
EVO is a fusion of property professionals, skilled trades and simple technology that transforms the way property management, maintenance and repairs are reported and delivered. Their digital platform connects tenants and landlords with skilled tradespeople in a convenient and transparent environment, allowing for issues to be resolved in the shortest possible time frame. This level of convenience allows issues to be raised and dealt with as they happen, ensuring tenants have a good experience, and landlords do not have a long term build-up of issues or consequential property damage.
“We are proud to embark on this journey with Capital Letters. EVO was born from a desire to improve tenant and landlord experience, as well as to tackle the serious problem of homelessness. I am really pleased that we have found a partner fully aligned with our core values and beliefs. Tenant experience seems to have been forgotten about in recent times but together I believe we can make a real difference”, says Steven Rae, CEO of EVO.
By working with EVO, Capital Letters is confident that the Company will be able to deliver an excellent customer focused repairs and maintenance service for their tenants, ensuring that the Company provides safe and secure homes where families can put down roots.
The main goals of the partnership are to:
- Reduce homelessness
- Ensure all accommodation is fully compliant
- Ensure Capital Letters housing always meets the decent homes standard
- Improve tenant experience with a completely transparent process, leading to increased engagement and satisfaction
- Significantly reduce environmental impact through the use of digital solutions, video triage, local tradespeople and an improved first-time fix rate.
- Build a useful property dataset to inform future investment decisions
- Provide a seamless digital workflow for tenants, landlords and tradespeople.
EVO currently works with landlords, housing associations and local authorities as part of its shared mission to support people’s access to decent quality housing.