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Bespoke Cost Calculator Demonstrates Cost Savings (Hackney)

Interface worked together with Shelter to develop a bespoke cost calculator to evidence service outcomes and costs savings.

Shelter is a national Charity that helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness. They provide advice, support and representation and also campaign to prevent it in the first place.

In 2013, Shelter launched a new family support service in Hackney which takes a whole family approach to the prevention of homelessness, delivering a range of interventions to resolve problems directly and indirectly linked to a family’s ability to access, keep or improve homes.

To do this Shelter provides timely and coordinated interventions by dedicated Key Workers, who work with families and partners to develop tailored support plans, addressing whole family needs. The service targets families with multiple needs outside of eligibility for the Troubled Families Programme, aiming to deliver sustainable solutions for families before they meet its threshold. The service also aims to demonstrate the reduction in public expenditure achieved through a reduction in demand for public services.


As a new service model, Shelter needed to find a solution to effectively demonstrate the achievements and impact of the Hackney Family Support Service, and specifically show what financial savings the service could offer to potential funders. This required some thought as to what is different about this model to other models and what its unique or strong selling points are for funders. Shelter also needed to find an effective and efficient way of showing what outcomes have been achieved for families, what costs savings have been made to “the system” and whether it offers value for money for potential funders.

Solutions / Outcomes:

Working closely and collaboratively with the Shelter Service Managers, Interface led work on designing a bespoke cost calculator to enable data to be collected to measure against key outcomes such as reducing homelessness, rent arrears and other debts, outcomes of EET and reduction in ASB/offending, as well as demonstrating more cost effective use of health services, police and social care. The tool is able to produce reports at both family and caseload level to use in discussion with current and potential funders.

By working closely with the Shelter team and listening carefully to understand their needs, Interface have been able to create a bespoke and dynamic solution to capturing costs savings data that is service specific, user friendly and time efficient. The reports are easy to interpret and Shelter now has a tailored tool that captures the outcomes and savings that are specific to their needs. The tool demonstrates the effectiveness of their service to current and potential funders, increasing opportunities to sustain this service and potentially replicate the model in other areas thus bringing support to hundreds more vulnerable families in need.