OUR Income Management team has been shortlisted for a national award after they helped over 300 residents negotiate welfare reform changes in one year.
Entering the team into the ‘Welfare Wise’ category of the 24 Housing awards, the judges were impressed with how our Income Management team had assisted residents following the welfare reform changes and recent budget announcement.
After changing the way they work, the team now focus on helping residents manage their finances better and referred 70 to the debt management charity Step Change.
The team also reduced rent arrears for the company by more than £83,000 - despite having to collect more than £1 million extra in rent due to the increasing number of properties owned and developed by us - and received five times as many compliments from residents than they had in the previous year.
The national awards ceremony will be held at The Ricoh Arena, home of Coventry City Football Club, on Thursday 8th October 2015 and will see us compete for the ‘Welfare Wise’ award against seven other housing associations from across the country.
Martin Hammond, Income Management manager, said: “Obviously we’re delighted to be shortlisted and we’re extremely proud that the judges were impressed with the work we’ve done.
“Previously we’d chase residents who are in debt but now we focus on stopping them from getting into rent arrears in the first place. You can have a resident who was paying their rent regularly and suddenly they’re not. It isn’t helpful to start demanding money as they may have had to replace their white goods or car so we need to discover the reason why they’ve fallen behind on their payments in the first place.”
“We are over the moon to be shortlisted for a national award,” said Kay Caldwell, CHP Director of Housing. “The reduction in rent arrears and the rise in compliments is great news. Not only is it good for the Income Management team and the company in general but for the residents as well. All of the money saved means we can reinvest it into continuously improving our services, building affordable homes and backing community projects which improve residents’ quality of life.”