FixMyBlock: issue reporting in tower blocks (Discovery Findings)


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Zarino Zappia


This document describes research carried out by mySociety in partnership with Tower Blocks UK, in early 2019, as part of the “FixMyBlock” project, looking into how an online service might empower tower block residents to report safety and maintenance issues in their block, more effectively and with more transparency.

Over the first half of 2019, we conducted user research, talking to lawyers, health and safety specialists, residents, tenant organisers, local councillors, and housing technology specialists, to find out what issues are most pressing in relation to tower block safety. We identified four key areas where we feel we have the opportunity to make a difference to how safe and happy residents feel in their homes:

  • Educating and informing – Designing a service that helps tenants identify and diagnose problems around them.
  • Legal pathways – Publishing plain English guides to the ways tower block tenants can use the law to their advantage.
  • Case management – Designing a service that helps tenants track, manage, and potentially share their issue reports and the interactions they have with housing providers and contractors.
  • Community building – Developing tools that help tower block tenants tap into the support networks in their buildings, and beyond.

In this document we outline our findings in these four areas, and give recommendations for next steps in the upcoming prototyping and alpha phase.


Contents

  1. Background
  2. Project purpose and goals
  3. Methodology
  4. Participants
  5. Discovery findings
    1. Data on tower blocks in the UK
    2. Tower block safety and the law
    3. Reporting and tracking safety issues
    4. Existing support systems
  6. User stories
    1. Education
    2. Reporting and case management
    3. Community
  7. Next steps
    1. Education
    2. Reporting and case management
    3. Community

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Cite this

Zappia, Z. (2019). FixMyBlock: issue reporting in tower blocks (Discovery Findings). [online] mySociety Research. Available at: http://research.mysociety.org/publications/fixmyblock-issue-reporting-tower-blocks-discovery [Accessed 20 Sep 2019].