How a data led strategy uncovered hidden pockets of poverty and delivered big impacts
Winchester is an area with a large voluntary sector and a huge amount of goodwill amongst the people who live there, an outlook mirrored by Winchester City Council. With welfare reform well underway and a lower Benefit Cap on the horizon, the council was determined to prevent vulnerable residents from falling into poverty.
However, channelling that goodwill was not always easy. The council wanted to proactively identify vulnerable people before they presented as homeless or in need of help, and were looking for a solution. Though various different projects were funded to provide help, not everyone knew where to get that help from. More significantly, the cultural change required by Universal Credit, whereby tenants must pay their rent themselves rather than their landlord being paid directly, is huge. Winchester City Council knew it must create long term, sustainable changes.