In a first for local government, Kent county and district councils collaborate by sharing their data to get insights that are helping them to tackle poverty across the county. Gravesham Council is part of this trailblazing approach. So far, Gravesham has run targeted Discretionary Housing Payment and Pension Credit campaigns to great success: retaining tenancies, preventing homelessness and securing over £180,000 in additional income for pensioners.
Gravesham Borough Council’s good news story of 2021
Our targeted Discretionary Housing Payment campaigns have allowed us to retain tenancies and prevent homelessness for those who may not have otherwise been aware of the scheme. The data in the LIFT platform gives us a better picture of a person’s affordability before they even apply, so we can target our highest-risk residents and offer them further support.
Thanks to LIFT we managed to reach and provide support to a disabled resident and prevented him from falling into rent arrears in his long-term home by awarding him a Universal Credit housing costs top-up.
In addition to this, we have raised over £184,000 in additional annual income for our pension-aged cohort thanks to our Pension Credit campaigns to date.
Katie Hayes, Special Projects and Support Officer, Gravesham Borough Council
Learn more about Gravesham Borough Council’s good news story
With limited resources and an increase in work during the pandemic, it has been difficult for our Benefits team to maintain engagement with our low-income residents to ensure they are maximising their benefit take-up.
We have also had to establish ways to allocate our remaining Covid-19 funding to best support our most vulnerable residents through the pandemic.
We have been impressed by demonstrations of the LIFT platform in the past. It already had a lot of potential, which was only magnified in light of the new challenges we have faced recently. Other local authorities in our county have been using the product with great success. By purchasing LIFT we have been able to collaborate across the county, with those other local authorities, to address those challenges and achieve our goals.
We had great success in our Pension Credit campaign, targeting those who are not in receipt but appear to be eligible. We now also carry out monthly Discretionary Housing Payment campaigns using LIFT’s financial resilience score.
During 2022/2023 when we aim to implement our new Council Tax Reduction scheme, we anticipate that the LIFT product will be instrumental in monitoring the impact and supporting our residents through the changes.
We have had a great experience working with Policy in Practice to date. Officers in all areas of the authority at various levels have had nothing but good things to say about the LIFT platform and the potential it holds for us as an authority. We are keen to do more with the product in the near future.