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80% of financially vulnerable people who engaged with Cornwall Council’s DHP take up campaign received an average of £450

Cornwall Council wanted to spend its Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund where it was most needed. With the help of the LIFT platform from Policy in Practice they unlocked insights from their administrative datasets to proactively identify and target households most at risk or in financial crisis across the county. In this way, they ensured their DHP money reached residents most in need. 80% of financially vulnerable people who engaged with the DHP take up campaign received an average of £450 each.

Cornwall Council’s good news story from 2020

Policy in Practice helped us to identify households most in need of DHP support. The LIFT platform identified private renters who had been impacted by housing reforms and were experiencing a cash shortfall. Using these insights, and with support from Policy in Practice, we designed a proof of concept data-led campaign that was executed from August 2020. A small group of 150 of households were contacted via three different communication channels: personalised letters, non-personalised flyers and outbound phone calls. The recipients were invited to contact us to apply for a DHP, either by visiting a webpage or calling the team. Results showed there was significantly more engagement with people who received direct phone calls than a letter or leaflet so we then phoned everyone over a two week period to ensure maximum impact.

We successfully contacted 58% of the chosen group and, of all the applications received, a staggering 80% were successfully awarded DHP support. As a result, the council awarded £10,492.56 in DHP payments, an average of over £450 per household. 

The high number of people who applied for and received a DHP from the chosen cohort demonstrates the proof of concept for this type of data-led take up campaign. By using our administrative data with a LIFT platform we were able to target discretionary support to the right group of people from the very beginning. The successful campaign will now be built on to distribute the council’s DHP fund effectively, reaching more Cornish residents in need of DHP payments.

Mark Ransom, Assessment Manager, Cornwall Council

“We chose Policy in Practice because once we saw the LIFT dashboard itself we realised the power behind it. It was detailed and it allowed us to drill right down to household level.”

Mark Ransom, Assessment Manager, Cornwall Council

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