“We wanted to show residents of Ham Close Estate what kind of quality home they could expect to get under the regeneration,” said David Done, RHP’s managing director. “And it worked wonderfully.”

He says the 11,000-home organization will use the technology for future regeneration programs and “try to understand” more of its potential.

Social landlords should think about the quality of their internet infrastructure to ensure tenants aren’t left out of experiences in the metaverse, according to Ben Bilsland, partner and senior technology analyst at the tax, audit and finance firm. RSM advice. He says we’ll be in the metaverse when “the quality and cadence of our digital interactions are worth the same to us as our physical interactions,” which he estimates will be in 10 to 15 years, when avatars will be “so sophisticated that ‘there will be technology that reads our reactions and our faces’.

“Giving people a virtual environment in which they can explore that space, we see real benefits in that”

Creative use of virtual reality, augmented reality and “metaverse meeting spaces” could help broaden tenant engagement, which is currently “skewed towards older retirees”, says Mr. Wilton of TPAS Cymru . “It won’t be for everyone and it won’t replace traditional meetings or tenant conferences, but if we’re going to do something to make those voices a little more diverse, we have to try those things,” he says.

The pandemic has accelerated digital engagement, Wilton says, and shown a desire to meet remotely. “Clients weren’t always thrilled that people got a glimpse of their home,” he says, “whether it’s [because of] embarrassment or intimacy. TPAS Cymru has spent time showing people how to blur their surroundings or use artificial backgrounds on Zoom.

Mr Ingham sums it up: “Home is a very emotional place, so that might seem like the last thing you want to bring into the metaverse. But, in a way, that’s the best reason it could exist in the metaverse, because our tenants don’t want the housing association in their house unless they really need us.