AI/ChatGPT: Friend or foe for social housing providers?

Everybody we know in technology land is quite excited about ChatGPT, the latest application of Artificial Intelligence.

I would be even more excited if I were a Customer Experience Manager in a social housing provider. Imagine getting a highly compressed summary of the day’s activities from your housing, contact and repairs teams. That’s the opportunity that may be possible if you link your CRM, telephone service and online conversations into a single AI application.

AI is not new. Most organisations have been using some AI in the customer service portfolio in some way either through chatbots, sentiment analysis or rent arrears predictions.

But if ChatGPT and other AI-powered services like Alexa, and Netflix have taught us anything, it’s that we expect consumer functionality to find its way into our business worlds. We’ve gotten used to asking Alexa questions. We appreciate how services like Amazon and Netflix make recommendations based on previous movies and shows we’ve seen. Something similar is being reinforced by ChatGPT. We like that we can ask it questions like, “How should I cook my chicken?” and ” Write me a poem” The way we interact with our favourite AI domestic services is now the way we want to be able to interact in our organisations.

But those organisations are still in the minority. Many working in the sector add AI to their list of fears about technology. Will it replace people’s jobs, is it safe and secure, is it ethical, how do I know it’s making the right decisions? Isn’t it just typical of the fake society we are living in today?

This is not a conflict between good and evil – it’s a conflict between two rights[1]!


At Golden Marzipan, we love data, technology, and AI. But we understand people’s concerns and believe that, like any technology, AI needs to be carefully introduced. So we encourage you to try a few things out using pilots and pathfinders. You probably don’t realise how much AI you are already using in both your business environment and in your consumer smartphone apps.

There are several free versions of ChatGPT available for you to play with. Please don’t use personal or resident data outside of your organisational boundaries.

  • Otter AI: transcription and collaboration platform that can be used to transcribe and organize audio and video recordings
  • Tome’s AI: create compelling presentations and stories
  • Jenni AI: AI writing assistant
  • Copy.AI:  generate marketing copy and content
  • Jasper AI; writing assistant and art generator
  • ChatGPT: can be incorporated into other tools, such as data analysis, and provide a great assistant to teams, especially small ones.
  • Microsoft Copilot; AI integrated into its office suite as a productivity tool
  • Microsoft Bing – its new internet search tool incorporating ChatGBT


Real-life example

Last month we wrote a 22-page, 6,000-word report for a housing association about their digital strategy. It took, as most reports do, several revisions before the owners felt it was fit for purpose for a multi-audience understanding. At the last minute we put the text through ChatGPT and here’s the result:

The goals of your digital business strategy align with the overall objectives of the organisation, which are to improve agility, make life easier and less complicated for residents, and focus on end-users; to use data to demonstrate excellent service, decent and safe homes, and value for money; to manage your strategy through inclusive ICT governance and minimising risks; to exploit IT for maximum benefit; and to incorporate digital inclusion in your community investment plans to engage residents through digital channels.

To achieve these goals, we have outlined a comprehensive plan that includes steps such as reviewing our cyber security risk mitigation plan, creating a digital program board, market testing our housing management system, creating performance reports, extracting data, identifying opportunities for cloud-based products and software, utilizing more functionality and features of our current system, raising the profile of technology and its risks through annual reports, simplifying processes for tenants, creating a colleague panel for digital skills development, ensuring users have the necessary equipment to work remotely, digitising documents, and incorporating digital inclusion into your community investment plan.

It’s important to note that achieving these goals requires a multidisciplinary approach and collaboration with all stakeholders involved, including tenants, staff, and management. Regular monitoring and evaluation of the progress of the plan and its effectiveness are also part of the process”.

We thought this was a pretty good summary of the report. A good read for a busy executive or board member. Of course, it doesn’t tell you why, when and how to implement the digital strategy, so I’m hoping we still have a role. But for us, it was a vivid moment of how we can use technology to simplify complex issues to gain buy-in and support. If applied to every other board paper, we might be down to half a dozen pages?!

Benefits of AI

There are other benefits too:

  • Automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes and responses to frequent customer inquiries/reminders
  • Improving and personalising customer experiences
  • Making data-driven decisions by analysing massive amounts of data and providing insights into various business aspects
  • Improving collaboration and communication, speeding up information sharing with tenants and between departments
  • Lowering costs, cutting down on the need for staff intervention.
  • Improving personal productivity


If this blog has aroused your interest in artificial intelligence and the different tools, we’d love to hear from you about your experiences (good and bad). This is still immature technology and we’d be happy to collaborate with your research and development projects. As AI develops, we will share our experience and expertise to explain how it can be used practically. Organisations do need to take note because our ability to provide our teams with the tools they need and want to do their jobs will quickly need addressing.

PS We wrote this ourselves! 😊

Have a look at how one of our small housing association clients has been using AI

[1] As explained to me by Friedrich Hagel 😊

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