Cassiltoun Housing Association

Organisation statement:

Cassiltoun Housing Association evolved in 2004 from Castlemilk East Housing Co-operative after the organisation decided to change its status by becoming a charity. Cassiltoun is a community-based housing organisation of 33 years standing.
Cassiltoun Housing Association (as Castlemilk East) is the oldest community ownership housing co-operative in not only Castlemilk, but also Glasgow, being registered with the Industrial and Provident Society in December 1984. The Association is managed by a voluntary Board made up of local people.
We are very proud of our roots in the 'co-operative' ethos, which we have retained while remaining innovative as we continue to grow. We employ 26 full-time equivalent members of staff. We are very committed to partnership working and wider action / non housing projects that benefit local people and the local economy. The combined parent and subsidiary companies have a diverse mixed tenure portfolio of over 1,000 houses, offices, children's nursery (employs 19 staff) and training rooms mainly, but not exclusively, in the east of Castlemilk.
"We aim to enhance the quality of life of our community and to regenerate our community through housing-led and resident-controlled initiatives."

Commitment to digital participation:

Cassiltoun Housing Association employed a Digital & Financial Inclusion Administrator in March 2017. The Digital & Financial Inclusion Administrator provides one to one appointments every Wednesday morning and a digital drop-in service every Friday. Cassiltoun HA sourced 10 laptops to facilitate this digital service and this year will also be investing in tablets in order to provide home visits by the digital inclusion administrator for our tenants who would prefer this in order to still tap into the digital service we now provide.
There is no 'set' class / programme to this project as we want the service to suit the tenants needs as much as possible by allowing them to say what they wish to do when they use the service other than ourselves deciding for them.
Our Digital Inclusion strategy was created in March 2018 and we aim to work as close to this strategy as possible.
'Going online can be confusing, difficult and costly. It isn't just about buying a laptop or smartphone; subscription fees, connection charges, setting up online accounts and installing firewalls can all make for a challenging experience. Some people in the UK do not yet have access to broadband where they live even if they want to go online. The most digitally excluded are often the most socially and economically excluded, and could benefit the most from going online. Making the practical steps of going online easy and affordable makes a huge difference to people who are new to the internet. Throwing money at the problem and offering generic support does not help people go online for the long-term. People need tailored support to help them overcome their own particular barriers; whether that's around access, cost, confidence or skills. Services need to be built for the user.'
Building on this example, Cassiltouns Digital Inclusion strategy is to:

• Improve access – having free Wi-Fi and laptop use

• Provide simple, low cost options for those who are socially and economically excluded to get online

• Motivate people - find something they care about

• Bring digital into people's lives in a way that benefits them; helping them do things they care about and can only do online
• Increased confidence and skills

• Improve employability

• Increased participation in volunteering opportunities
• Reduction in the number of people unemployed
• Increased avenues of communications (email, twitter, facebook)
• Eco friendly way of communicating
• Providing tenants the abilities to make universal credit claims
• Reduction in tenants being sanctioned
• Greater community involvement in all issues related to CHA.

Support offered:

Free use of 10 new laptops and internet access with a digital inclusion worker there to assist service users

Support wanted:

opportunity for digital projects, digital networking, bringing service users together, more digital tools for service users use - i.e tablets, dongles etc.

Public Sector category: Housing