On my knees with IMS...

At the risk of unleashing a flood of complaints, I'd like to ask how people are getting on with IMS - the HCA and GLA's system for claiming funds under the Empty Property funding Rounds 1 and 2.

I was warned it would be time-consuming and frustrating but never could have realised what an absolute nightmare the system is!

I have managed to get to the first stage of submitting a couple of property details. The guidance available on the HCA website is slightly helpful but there's still a LOT of trial and error. A particular problem is that information submitted at different stages has to agree with earlier info - if anything changes then you are back to square one - yes literally have to start all over again.

Has anyone managed to get through the whole process of claiming funds for a property?... halfway? ...any tips? In particular I would be grateful if anyone could supply a complete list of all the data required on an individual property; any guides to the process that you may have put together yourselves (I already have the HCA guidance) and any tips on speeding up the process.

Failing that a good old moan would help!

Many thanks, Kirsten

South East London Housing Partnership

grants, loans, funding

I think IMS is the horror story for most of us. I have had no end of trials and tribulations with it and still had problems even after a little tuition with a bod at the GLA.
Just before Christmas I got another session of hand-holding from our GLA area team and managed to move beyond uploading properties and site profiles, to amending bulk schedule dates and timelines - another issue which you rightly identify as being a block to saving data entry in other fields.
I'm still not entirely confident using IMS beyond uploading units and all I can say is, it is very much trial and error. My consortium is now awaiting some IMS approval from the GLA and then we should start drawing down grant for some of our units.
I wish the very very very best of British luck!!!!!
Neil Pearce
Barking & Dagenham (East London Housing Partnership lead on empties)

Thanks to everyone for responses, emails and phone calls of commiseration and help.
Yes the system is pants but we're all in it together. I still have many screens to fill in before actually completing a funding claim, and it does seem to be one step forward, two steps back.
Perhaps this is an opportunity to test my mindfulness practice...
Thanks particularly to Rebecca Lawlor from Rossendale who sent some awesome walk-through guides which they have developed in the course of submitting over 140 properties.
Kind regards, Kirsten