99% rent collection rate for one housing associations universal credit experiment
- 26 Aug
A housing association in Salford has reported that its experiment with direct housing benefit payments to tenants has been very successful.
City West Housing Trust decided to set up a trial to see how direct payments to tenants would affect its own residents with universal credit set to fully roll out across the North West of England this year, reports 24dash.
City West found that at the end of the trial rent arrears among its 54 voulnteers dropped and rent collection stood at more than 99%. Of the 54 tenants, 43 had been hit by the governments bedroom tax policy.
The social landlord's trial yielded far greater results than many of the Department for Work and Pensions' own pilot schemes designed to test direct payments to tenants.
Justin Freeman, City West's head of income management, said: "The results are a stark contrast to what we have seen across the sector in the other direct payment pilots and the experience of housing providers in the Universal Credit pathfinder areas. We'd seen a lot of reports on the impact that direct payments are going to have on social housing tenants with people struggling to manage their budgets. There has also been plenty of research about what that would mean for housing associations as they tried to keep rent collections high and manage their finances. We wanted to pull it all together and carry out our own research to show how it would impact in our communities, with our staff and our customers."
The total costs associated with supporting customers rose from £14.91 per case per month for those outside the pilot to £60.51 per case per month for those taking part. The vast majority of the large cost increases related to staff time, the landlord said. They estimate that it would cost in excess of £1.2m to deliver such a level of report on an ongoing basis.
Justin Freeman said: "We wanted to make sure that we left no stone unturned. We gave customers all the support possible to cope with the change and manage their bills and budgets. It meant that the vast majority of the customers taking part, even those not used to paying their own rent, were able to take control of their own finances at an early stage. We helped them manage their income and outgoings so they could manage any debts and rent arrears, while still making sure they had enough money for day-to-day living costs. For those who were unable to take control of their finances effectively, we've learnt a huge amount and this will help us to seek appropriate Alternative Payment Arrangements under UC."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
- 03 May
MANY MAY STRUGGLE AS A RESULT OF CHANGES TO THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM
The study envisages the following issues from the move which is expected to save the taxman £1billion a year by 2021:Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham said:"This cut...
- 13 Mar
CIH SCOTLAND POINTS OUT ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW SINGLE PAYMENT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Following recent warnings from the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee about problems with the new Universal Credit system, CIH Scotland has pointed out some issues with the...
- 23 Nov
THE LHA CAP WILL APPLY TO ALL TENANTS THAT RECEIVE UNIVERSAL CREDIT
These details were stated by the government:Lord Freud announced in a ministerial statement that this would "ensure simplicity and a streamlined process". He also said tenants who are moved from...
- 17 Oct
UNIVERSAL CREDIT SET TO EXPAND IN AREAS SERVED BY KIRKINTILLOCH JOBCENTRE
The beneficiaries of this would have to live within one of these postcodes: G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.This entitlement means working age people in these postcodes...
- 25 Aug
AFTERMATH OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT DELAYS
The labour MP also said "the minimum six-week payment period faced by new Universal Credit claimants led to reliance on emergency food parcels, triggered debt and rent arrears, and caused health...
- 25 May
FIRST ERROR AND FRAUD FINDINGS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The department's findings show that underpayments due to official errors were considerably higher than for the older Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Programme, however, the rate of overpayments was...
- 09 Sep
Universal credit targets defended by Iain Duncan Smith
When asked about the effectiveness of the roll-out of universal credit Mr Duncan Smith said: “Universal credit is now available in more than half of jobcentres across Great Britain and will be...
- 18 Aug
Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit
Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect...
- 13 Aug
Universal Credit claimants rise to almost 90,000
Figures by the Department for Work and Pensions have found that 89,357 people were claiming universal credit by 9th July which was a rise of 18% compared to 75,426 on 11th June, reports Inside...
- 13 Aug
Scottish government to revamp universal credit
The Scottish Government has decided it wants to give claimants the choice of having their payments made twice a month rather than just once a month on universal credit, reports Scottish Housing...
Revenue Optimisation "I am really impressed with Support Solutions and how small organisations are supported with information and training" Susan Harrison (Tenant Support Services)