One Window initiative
The goal of One Window is to develop a coordinated intake solution across non-market housing providers in Calgary. This will help to improve the experience of Calgarians who need access to non-market housing, so that more people can be efficiently and successfully housed.
The One Window initiative is being guided by a Steering Committee comprised of 14 non-profit, non-market housing providers, community organizations, and the Government of Alberta. Clients, social service agencies and other stakeholders are also being engaged. The City of Calgary, a member of the Community Housing Affordability Collective (CHAC), is leading the initiative. This initiative is also part of CHAC’s Action Plan and The City's Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy.
Why is One Window needed?
An analysis conducted in 2017 showed that existing intake processes do not meet the needs of clients or housing providers. Existing processes:
- Are difficult for clients who must apply separately to multiple providers
- Result in inconsistent service delivery
- Are not aligned across approximately 60 non-market housing providers
- Rely on inadequate systems and tools
- Follow a complicated legislative framework
One Window recommendation
The One Window Steering Committee recommends that the proposed One Window entity will:
- Be a separate non-profit organization, independently staffed and governed so it can focus on the strategic growth and direction of the service it provides.
- Manage the client intake processes across participating housing providers.
- Have a single application form that clients can fill out to apply to multiple housing providers and programs.
- Have an office with flexible office hours to accommodate a variety of clients including working families and individuals.
- Be supported by an IT system which will manage the intake processes, provide data and analytics, and create efficiencies.
The creation of a new entity focused on the strategic growth and direction of One Window will allow the organization to be innovative, agile and adaptive to new models of social and affordable housing.
One Window will be more than just a waitlist management system. It will be a progressive, analytics-based and data-informed application management process that will transform how Calgarians access non-market housing. Expected benefits include:
- Improved customer service
- Improved outcomes
- Increased transparency
- Improved sector collaboration
- New technology to modernize the housing system
- Increased efficiencies
- Improved data and analytics
The anticipated costs
Funding for One Window is being requested from the Government of Alberta. The funding would cover the estimated costs associated with setting up the non-profit entity, staffing needs, selecting a vendor, conducting detailed needs research, and developing the software solution.
Estimated implementation costs: $7.5 million
Estimated first year operating costs: $2.6 million