“We have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to make sure everyone has access to the digital world, so they can learn, find work, and realise their potential.” – Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
More and more Housing Associations are looking to improve digital inclusion among their tenants. There are a number of reasons for this – from the employability benefits that come with increased digital skills, to the fact that many services are moving online. In this article, we will explore five ways Housing Associations can improve digital inclusion in their communities.
1. Offer Training and Support:
Housing Associations should offer tailored digital training and support to residents, including basic IT skills such as using computers, the internet, and online employability and employment services. Providing access to digital devices is also important; Housing Associations can work with local organisations to provide low-cost or free devices for those who need them.
2. Raise Awareness of Digital Opportunities:
Housing Associations should raise awareness among tenants of available online opportunities, such as job applications and educational courses. Encouraging tenants to explore these options could open up new pathways for them in terms of employability, education and social mobility.
3. Provide Accessible Internet Connectivity:
Housing Associations should consider providing free or subsidised internet access to tenants. This could include working with local service providers to provide Wi-Fi connections or low-cost internet packages or providing broadband vouchers for those on low incomes.
4. Prioritise Online Services:
Housing Associations should make sure all of their services are available online wherever possible. This could include making rent payments, submitting maintenance requests and accessing information about tenancy rights and responsibilities digitally.
5. Foster Digital Communities:
Housing Associations should foster digital communities within their community by creating safe spaces where tenants can learn from each other and share digital skills, knowledge and experiences. Housing Associations may also want to consider running digital events such as coding clubs or hackathons in order to engage residents with technology and build a sense of community.
By taking these five steps, Housing Associations can make a real difference in improving digital inclusion in their communities and giving tenants the skills to succeed in the digital age.
The only way to ensure that digital inclusion for all is achieved, and not just for those who can afford it, is by working with the private sector. Housing Associations need to make a commitment to serving low-income tenants by providing affordable access to technology, content and support services. What’s more, they need to do this in a way that actually helps people meet their job goals. We’re happy to say that we offer such a solution at our company. Our freemium package gives access to our platform for your tenants and gives you free access to our marketing toolkit! And if you have any questions or problems, our top-notch customer service representatives are always happy to help out however they can. So sign up today and get on the path toward meeting your job goals!