In the face of the ongoing cost of living crisis housing providers play a crucial role in supporting the financial wellbeing of their customers. This webinar explores the innovative strategies and initiatives undertaken by housing providers to build the financial strength of individuals and families, empowering them to navigate the challenges posed by rising costs.
The webinar will bring together policy experts and two leading housing providers to share insights and best practices. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the proactive measures being taken to alleviate financial burdens and promote stability within the communities they serve.
Listen back to hear
- What’s happening to social and private rents compared to mortgages
- What this means for the social housing sector
- What this means for tenants on the lowest incomes
- How the Better Off Calculator can help
- A look at how two housing providers are supporting their customers:
- Northern Ireland Housing Executive
- Community Housing Group
- Julie Alexander, Manager for Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Northern Ireland Housing Executive
- Beverley Hiden, Tenancy Sustainability Team Leader, Community Housing
View the webinar
A lot of people either are already eligible for benefits or are going to be increasingly eligible for them as inflation hits. There's already £7.6 billion in unclaimed Universal Credit, £2.9 billion in Council Tax Support, almost £0.9 million in pension age housing benefit and unclaimed water, broadband and other benefits of £2.2 billion.
The Better Off Calculator has been hugely central to our response to the various financial pressures on our tenants. Since January 2021 over £3.5 million in additional benefits has been generated through use of the calculator. There's also been £850,000 in extra income to rent accounts generated, reducing or wiping out rent arrears for some tenants.
We've referred for 60 food parcels, only 12 of those were for families, which surprised me. It's mostly single people asking for food parcels, which reflects the level of benefits for single people who don't have disability benefits or children. It's a very low level of benefits to try and manage the current cost of living.
The Better Off Calculator has an internal case management system that allows you to passport information between teams. The lettings team can complete this as part of the initial tenancy, get income maximisation to make sure they're as financially sustainable as possible. If someone does fall into arrears, the full tenant journey is visible for everyone to see.