Beter Wonen In Voerendaal

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The Case
Short introduction
The municipality of Voerendaal would like to help its residents live independently well into old age. The online platform 'Beter Wonen In Voerendaal' (improved living in Voerendaal) offers local residents a quick overview of potential adaptations for their homes, how to achieve and finance such adaptations, and who to call on to realize them. Residents receive customized advice on such matters as the necessary adaptations for homes, how best to approach these adaptations, which subsidy schemes are available for funding adaptations, and, finally, several links to companies that can perform the desired adaptations. The 'Beter Wonen in Voerendaal' platform has raised awareness among Voerendaal residents of the possibilities of age-proof living to address the needs of the elderly.
Launch date
The municipality of Voerendaal in South Limburg is home to an ageing population. Due to its growing number of elderly residents, age-proof housing has become an important strategy for the municipality to combat population shrinkage. For this reason, Voerendaal would like to enable its residents to live independently for as long as possible. Most homes, however, require a range of adaptations before they can support autonomous living for the elderly. Therefore, the municipality sought an easy and convenient digital platform that would offer residents customized advice and information about options for age-proof housing.
The top priority for the platform was to inform and even motivate residents about the various options for age-proof housing. The next priority was to ensure that the platform would help residents take advantage of various funding sources to implement adaptations to their homes and to provide links with local and/or regional SMEs. This would allow local businesses to benefit from the decision to develop more age-proof housing in Voerendaal.

The main challenge was developing the customized advice. Residents have quite a wide range of questions about age-proof housing, for which a similarly wide range of solutions exist. The sheer multitude of age-proof housing possibilities can end up overwhelming interested residents. In light of this, the platform had to provide the residents with personal, customized advice regarding housing adaptations, how best to approach them, and the financing opportunities.

To summarize, the objectives were the following:

to inform and motivate residents about the possibilities of age-proof housing
to offer customized advice
to encourage residents to take advantage of subsidy opportunities for carrying out adjustments to their homes
to boost local SMEs by linking residents with companies that provide housing adaptation services.
Betawerk developed 'Beter Wonen', an online platform for the municipality of Voerendaal that provides customized advice for residents looking to find out more about age-proof housing within a short time frame. The platform provides information about the necessary housing adaptations, best practices, available subsidy schemes, and links to companies that can implement the desired adjustments.

In order for the online platform 'Beter Wonen in Voerendaal' to deliver customized advice, the customer journey was explored for residents who sought out advice on age-proof housing. What questions do residents have? How is information provided? Where are the bottlenecks that are hindering the flow of this information? All manner of questions were answered during the development process for the online platform.

The website revolves around a test that sharpens residents' questions about age-proof housing. When users answer the questions, they receive concrete and customized advice. The platform also contains general information that is based in part on targeted research. It provides advice and supplementary information, so people can be better informed about age-proof housing.

The platform is linked to Bedrijvenwijzer Voerendaal, a municipal database of local and regional SMEs. Residents can follow the link to apply for a quote from one of the companies to make the necessary adjustments to their home.
Technical challenges
The main challenge was to develop a user-friendly platform, particularly because the target audience primarily comprises an older part of the population. The test only consists of a single module. However, a new page loads with each new question, thereby helping users maintain a clear overview of the information. To achieve customization, we delved deeper into the residents' customer journeys, which gave us essential insight into the questions residents are pondering and the information they are seeking.
Challenges in (combination of) modules
The test was developed using the Webform module, which we modified by applying one of our modules so the user could immediately see the results at the end of the test. A specially developed Drupal module communicates with the Webform module to translate the test results into customized advice such as practical tips, a referral to a concrete subsidy scheme, or an advisory interview with a sustainability officer.
Contribution form the project to the Drupal-community
Although a custom Drupal module was developed for this project, its functionality is so specific that the Drupal community has little to gain from its return.
Name client
Gemeente Voerendaal
What does the client think about the project?
Remco de Jong, Transformatie Woningbestand project leader (municipality of Voerendaal) explains, 'The government often views the outside world very differently and, therefore, is frequently not aware of the issues its citizens face. With the help of Betawerk, we actively searched for the questions residents have on their minds. Now that 'Better Wonen in Voerendaal' is available, we notice that the platform is raising the residents' awareness of age-proof housing. In addition, we've seen a growing number of applications for subsidies.'