The topic of sustainability in the Dutch social housing sector is a complex matter. While housing corporations feel the need internally, as well as from increased governmental regulations, implementing sustainable solutions on a large scale is teeming with very direct obstacles: one has to involve complete city blocks in the transformation, involving numerous tenants that have to be discomforted or even displaced for long periods of time.

On top of that tenants have little to gain personally with the transformation, because most tenants, especially those that are housed socially and have a lower income, need to prioritise efforts to financially benefit them. With the Wooneffect programme Essent is leveraging its local servicepartner network to help housing corporations to transform their assets effectively for a more sustainable future.

A content-driven platform

Essent approached The Garage to help create a digital platform that helps housing corporations to start their Herculean task. At the foundation of the Wooneffect service is the idea of breaking down the process step-by-step and making it bitesize. Through rich content, the platform offers insights and thought leadership to help housing corporations to get started. Call-to-actions directly linking the reader to the experts help lower the barrier to approach.

A scalable solution

The content has different manifestations: projects showcase how Wooneffect operates successfully on such a large scale. The focus is on KPI results and the approach. Story articles focus on the people involved in these projects. Together with de Redactiegasten, we developed content formats like the ‘5 questions to …’-interview format and ‘stappentellers’ where an expert tells how his or her step-by-step process works. By creating a digital platform aligned with the content strategy, Essent is able to create new formats easily over time to continuously iterate on their online strategy.

An updated visual identity

During the agile sprint process, the goal was to create a scalable, design system that feels visually related to Essent, but still has its own identity because it has a different audience than the main brand. Redesigning the logo and toning down the well known Essent pink to make place for the secondary blue colour palette helps making it distinct from the main brand. The photography focuses on the people in the real context of transformation and the process bars embody the step-by-step process that is central to the Wooneffect concept.