The Connected Housing Initiative (CHI) has launched a brand new web resource to help housing associations find the right kit and connectivity solutions for their residents.

The CHI is a collaboration of 13 Housing Associations working with  the Government Digital Service, National Housing Federation and digital skills provider, Digital Unite. Their aim is to ensure more affordable, sustainable and accessible IT kit and connectivity for all social housing residents, wherever they live and whatever their income.

The Hyde Group’s Sophie McKechnie, also Chair of the Connected Housing Initiative said: “Around 1.85 million¹ social housing residents are estimated to be offline. In these digitally demanding times and with the advent of Universal Credit, having affordable and flexible internet access is vital if residents are to get online.

“We want residents to have genuine choice in the market and we want IT and Internet companies to better understand and access the huge business opportunity social housing residents represent.”

Sharing the outcomes of supplier meetings on a new web area brings the two together in a meaningful and widely accessible way so that increased numbers of residents can benefit from greater digital and social inclusion.

Over the past few months CHI members have been collaborating with technology providers to help shape hardware and internet solutions that are better suited for social housing residents and communities, for example with shorter contracts and lower monthly costs.

Detailed information about eight suppliers has now been published in a dedicated web area on the Digital Unite websiteMore than just product details, the supplier information includes insight and perspective from the CHI and examples of the solutions in practice.

More supplier profiles will be added in the coming months as further meetings are held in April. The CHI web area also includes background to the group, the housing market opportunity, how to get involved and useful links and resources.

Notes to editors

For further information please contact Sophie McKechnie or

¹ The Social Housing sector provides accommodation for 18% of British households (1) this equates to five million people. The Government’s Digital Inclusion Strategy states that 37% social housing tenants are likely to be digitally excluded (2). This equates to around 1.85 million people. Evidence from current CHI members alone shows that on average 30% of people do not have access to the internet, equating to 110,000 people.

Members of CHI Members of the Connected Housing Initiative are:

Housing Associations

  • Affinity Sutton
  • Viridian Housing
  • Orbit Group
  • The Hyde Group
  • Sovereign Housing Association
  • L&Q
  • Peabody
  • AmicusHorizon
  • Family Mosaic
  • Hanover Housing Association
  • Southern Housing Group
  • North Hertfordshire Homes
  • Metropolitan

Non-Housing Associations

  • Government Digital Service
  • National Housing Federation
  • Digital Unite



As a collective, the 13 Housing Associations of the Connected Housing Initiative

•       Own over 440,000 homes, with over 33,600 new homes in the pipeline

•       20-40% of their residents are offline

•       This equates to around 115,000 homes without internet connection

•       They have trained over 5000 residents to learn how to use the Internet (digital inclusion)

•       Financial Investment in their digital skills programmes is over £1.5m

•       Together the CHI has 25 years’ experience & expertise at running digital inclusion programmes.


[1] ONS Housing Report published in 2011




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