When the Covid-19 restrictions came into force meaning the cancelling of trade shows and face to face meetings, ODCGIS decided to host a webinar as a way of promoting GIS Mapping within the social housing market.  Entitled ‘The Benefits of GIS Mapping To Social Housing Providers’ the aim was to allow housing professionals to share their experiences with their fellow professionals, some of whom were GIS users, some were not and had registered to find out about GIS.  The webinars were made available for FREE to all social housing professionals.

The first webinar was held in October 2020, just before the second major lockdown happened.  ODCGIS invited 5 of their clients, each one benefitting from GIS and wanting to share best practice.  They covered such subjects as Visualisation of NPV to look at future plans, Grounds Maintenance– ownership benefits of knowing what you own, Contact Centre access to more information around ownership and planned works to deal with customer enquiries and more including Solar Panel Identification for finding suitable properties and surveying for fire risk assessments using floor plans in the GIS with layers for the various assets such as fire doors.

The second webinar, held in May 2021 followed a similar format with 3 more housing professionals again covering areas where GIS was helping them.  Grounds Maintenance capture was covered again, this time sharing actual figures of how much money can be saved, How having T-Marks in your GIS can save officers time and offer a far more efficient service, and there was an interview with Cottsway Housing Association and how they were using GIS and Open Data to help their Community Investment programme with their Community Insight mapping.

Plans are now being put in place for a third webinar and we would welcome any GIS users who would wish to share their experiences.  You don’t need to be a client to get involved.

Meet below your fellow housing professionals who shared best practice and if you scroll to the bottom of the page there are links to recordings of the 2 webinars should you wish to watch them.  Each one lasts around one hour.

Gary Auburn

Programme Management Lead

Gary has worked for whg for 17 years and found GIS to be incredibly helpful in his day to day job. whg have invested in their homes and technology strategically and utilising a GIS mapping system has enabled the team to plot programmes of work for Exec reports across their portfolio of homes.

Natalie Hyde

Neighbourhood Initiatives Officer

Natalie has worked in social housing for 14 years. She has undertaken various roles including customer service, estates management and homelessness.

GIS has been an invaluable tool for her work in estates and has helped THT to be more professional, more knowledgeable and more accurate in dealing with customer enquiries.

Rebecca Dick

GIS Modeller

Coming originally from an ecology background, Rebecca has worked in social housing for Thirteen for three years. In her time there she has used the ArcGIS platform to develop a suite of web applications enabling colleagues, right across the business, to access, visualise, and analyse data spatially. This has provided a very powerful geographical insight into their operating area.

Mark Brown

Investment Programme Manager

Mark has worked or studied in the property sector since 1989 and has a Land Economics degree and a PgC in GIS.  Mark has used GIS off and on since 1997 including 4 years in Housing at a Local Authority and recently in Social Housing with Cairn Housing.

Chris Kinnear

GIS Analyst

L&Q Image Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are amazing at visualising data and enabling people to gain new insights from maps.  L&Q use GIS to support their teams to make positive decisions – whether this is: grounds maintenance delivery, complaints teams, maintenance planning, or active asset management.

Paul Dockerill

Director of Energy and Programme Management

Paul led the way on the strategy and approach to the ‘Building a Safer Future’ agenda, is responsible for delivering the Energy Plan and setting the strategy for achieving carbon zero and was also Chair on whg’s Fire Safety Group, which has made significant efforts to reassure customers about fire safety following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.  He was Chair of the National Housing Federations National Building Safety Group.  Paul enjoyed football and would be delighted with Aston Villa’s progress, reading, genealogy and travelling and invested significant time supporting charity raising thousands of pounds through charity events and walks.

Sadly Paul died suddenly in November 2022 leaving a large hole in the lives of those who knew him.  We all lost a good friend who is still missed to this day. RIP.

Sam Stronach

Community Investment Manager

Sam has worked for Cottsway for 12 years and is in her third role with the organisation. As Community Investment Officer she is not only interested in the statistics from her housing association but how the wider data sets can influence community projects and initiative’s that will have a greater impact on peoples lives.

Sam has just started using GISMO to create a snap shot of particular areas of their stock to create local community plans allowing their initiatives to be better influenced by new insights.

Sam likes messing about with Maps too!

David Beswick

GIS Manager

As GIS Manager at Cross Keys Homes for the last 2.5 years, David has been responsible for the procurement and implementation of GIS across the organisation. A Land Surveyor by trade, much of his life has been dedicated to mapping and GIS, where in 2009 he achieved Chartered CGeog(GIS) status. David has worked for GIS vendors, consultancies and industry alike, delivering GIS to predominantly Land & Property, Local Government and now Housing customers. Outside of work, as the route planner for a local cycling club, you’ll inevitably find him huddled over a map devising a new route.

Host for both webinars:

Rick Thompson

Director of Operations

Rick joined ODC in January 2017 with 15 years-experience in the GIS industry. For the previous 3 years Rick was the GIS Officer for Trafford Housing Trust and before joining Trafford he spent 8 years as the GIS Administrator for Cheshire Police where he successfully managed and implemented a corporate GIS and delivered a CCTV mapping project which attracted national media attention.