As part of the Affinity housing association’s ‘Get Connected’ programme, ‘cut price’ recycled computers will be offered to help those in social housing.
The statistics for how few of those in social housing are able to use the internet has recently been highlighted as the new benefit system will be all online.
Universal credit is going to be introduced later this year as a new way to apply for a receive benefits in one go.
But a recent report has shown that 4.1m of the 8.7m UK adults in the UK, who have never been online, are in social housing.
The criticism the government have received for this decision with universal credit, with lack of consideration for those unable to use it, has encouraged a big drive to get as many people as possible online.
Stone Group, a manufacturer of ICT hardware and services specifically for the public sector, has partnered with housing association Affinity Sutton who manage over 57,000 homes across England.
They will provide ‘cut price’ recycled PCs as part of their ‘Get Connected’ programme. The recycled PCs come with a 12-month warranty, are installed with Open Office software, and cost £133.00 (+VAT), which includes delivery and installation.
Affinity and Stone Group gave away 50 PCs to tenants in a competition, and are planning to give away a further 25 PCs as part of its Spring Online Week
It also means that those who get online will be able to gain access to all the other benefits of the internet, such as information about schools, job searches, easy access to support networks that are available to them such as charity hotlines, and keeping up to date in the way that those with the internet are able to.
Scott McKinven, Affinity’s financial inclusion manager, said:
The government wants 80% of applications for Universal Credit to be conducted online by 2017.”As a housing association we feel it is in our interests, and our residents’ interests to have a means of getting online and accessing the services that they need.
Simon Pettit, Stone Group’s commercial director, said:
This is more than just about providing recycled computers. With the impending Universal Credit scheme, recipients need the resources and know-how to get online and more needs to be done to help them do so.
Affinity Sutton should be commended for its Get Connected programme and the efforts it is taking to help its residents better their lives through technology. We are proud to be involved.