Homes England is to embark on a “far-reaching digital-transformation programme”.
The organisation, a non-departmental agency of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has agreed a “digital partnership” with systems integrator Accenture and public-service transformation specialist FutureGov.
As part of the arrangement, FutureGov founder Dominic Campbell will join Homes England as interim chief digital officer. He will oversee the opening phase of the organisation’s digitisation agenda.
Homes England, formerly the Homes and Communities Agency, was rebranded, expanded and given new powers including compulsory purchase powers in the 2017 Budget.
Its digital-transformation mission will include a revamp of the systems that manage land and funding, as well as better managing the data held by Homes England. The agency also intends to help “its workforce to operate more effectively with industry partners”.
Campbell will help set the transformation strategy and guide the organisation’s incumbent digital professionals. Global services giant Accenture will provide “at-scale delivery capabilities”.
“I’ve always fought to put design at the heart of business transformation, and Homes England represents an opportunity to take that work to a new scale,” Campbell said.
Homes England’s digitisation drive will take place alongside the rollout of “a new people strategy and business-improvement plans, as part of its move to [become] a more commercial organisation”.
“Homes England will become a digital pioneer, with digital innovation at the heart of our move to a more agile, commercial organisation,” said the organisation’s chief executive, Nick Walkley.
He added: “Dominic has significant experience in public-sector digital innovation, and is considered one of the most influential digital leaders in the public sector.
“We have a shared vision for change that will equip Homes England with the technology, capabilities and behaviours fit for the digital age, transforming our corporate culture and positioning us as an exemplar of government delivery in the 21st century.”
Homes England’s remit is to help facilitate the building of new homes in areas of the country where they are most needed, and fund affordable properties for citizens to rent or buy. It manages government land and money, and has the power to issue compulsory-purchase orders. It also sells public land to housing developers.
Until January, the 600-strong organisation constituted the majority of the former Homes and Communities Agency. Following the rebrand, the Regulator of Social Housing has been spun out into a separate entity.