Hackney works on residents’ finance tool

Council follows up launch of Rent Accounts app with discovery project on wider management of personal finances

Hackney Council is working on the possible development of a digital financial tool to help residents manage their personal finances better.

Pound coins and £10 notesIt has already taken a similar tool to help tenants manage their rent payments to a beta phase, and indicated that it sees the value in one that deals with a broader range of financial issues. The need is growing with the widening implementation of universal credit next year, which will place an increased emphasis on recipients to handle their own income and payments.

The London borough is looking for a commercial partner for a discovery phase to determine whether the tool is needed, what needs to be done and what skills are needed.

It has identified a number of relevant services for which it currently delivers support – notably around housing, but also in support for getting into training and employment – and wants to join these up. The tool would pull these together, including information on what services the user is entitled to, how they can access cheaper loans and how they clear debts.

Hackney’s procurement notice indicates that it is keeping an open mind on any software on which a tool could be based, but refers to the Rent Accounts service, which was developed in-house with a presentation layer built on Outsystems and a data layer on Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The council’s procurement notice for support says its Rent Accounts app has been used by 5,500 tenants in the few weeks since it was launched, and is now being made available to leaseholders of ex-council properties.