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1 Universal Credit and whg

2 About whg LSVT from Walsall Council 27 th March ,342 properties Houses 1 in 5 people in Walsall Turnover around 86.5 million Over 70% of tenants claim full or part HB

3 whg s Risk Factors the usual suspects Direct Payment concerns Likely arrears increase Tenancy sustainability concern Identifying tenants for APAs Monthly in arrears budgeting cycle Online claims / Digital Inclusion Skills training/job readiness

4 Mitigations - Direct Debit whg aims for all customers on DD (or similar automated payment) Paperless, any day DD implemented DD now included in tenancy agreements We discuss DD payment in pre-tenancy process

5 Mitigations Credit Union Accounts If a tenant cannot set up a DD, we signpost to Walsave Credit Union 1apay account mimics a direct debit payment whg incentivises customers to set up a Walsave jam jar account Initial year s set up cost ( 18) Administration fee ( 5) means no transactions fees for 1 st year 10 credit into savings pot at outset 5 top-up if clear rent account maintained for 6 months

6 Mitigations Pre-tenancy process Pre-tenancy protocol overhauled Money advisor affordability assessment Credit checks if problems identified If budgeting issues are identified applicants are offered money management training Direct Debit or other automated payment required by tenancy agreement Credit Union accounts promotion

7 Capacity building Promoting customer employability and skills Confidence building courses work readiness courses paid work placements (Community Champions) Volunteering Works programme IT s Your Life digital inclusion courses

8 Financial Inclusion whg Financial Inclusion Team Money Advisors supplement existing Welfare Benefit and Debt Advice specialists Money Mentors aim to provide triage and general financial advice Signpost to specialist sources of help if needed Wincred financial inclusion partnership Joined up local approach to welfare benefit and debt advice provision

9 So far, so usual But we re also looking at The Rental Exchange Who s Home

10 The Rental Exchange Social enterprise by Big Issue Invest and Experian Social renters build credit score without additional debt Lifts social rent payers credit score in same way as mortgage payers

11 How Rental Exchange works Landlord decides to join Rental Exchange Fair Processing Notice to all tenants (DPA compliance) 28 day opt out period for customers HM system data put in RE schema Monthly rent records contributed to RE

12 Rental Exchange Potential Tenant Benefits Higher credit score means financial inclusion - may enable Opening a bank account Better access to loans / credit cards Better insurance terms Better mobile phone rates

13 Who s Home Cloud-based profiling tool Compares HM system residents with people Experian locates there Housing Partners realised application for bedroom tax and developed further Further developments help with UC whg is a development partner (but has no financial stake in the product!)

14 Who s Home How it works 1 Compares landlord HM system data to Experian data Identifies information mismatches Categorises mismatches into types or pots Each pot has a protocol for use specifying pot owner team leader access housing officer access Data refreshed weekly with Monitoring facility

15 Who s Home How it works 2 Who s Coming? Pre-tenancy checks affordability agenda, CCJ check Who s Gone? we can trace FTs through checks whg is bringing FTA collections back in house

16 Who s Home Desktop

17 How does Who s Home prepare us for UC? 1 Direct Debit pot tenants with medium/high DD usage paying other bills IC can prioritise discussing DD with them to prepare for direct payment under UC We know people in this pot are suitably banked

18 Financial distress indicator Financial distress indicator shows CCJs Early Money Advisor intervention Budgeting skills training Credit History Search if High financial distress Detailed credit history if credit score is poor Financial distress indicator will help us to make decisions on signing up risky tenants

19 Bedroom Tax bonus Who s Home gives accurate household compositions Gives dates from when people detected at address Compares with our property size We are able to lend weight to tenant appeals where appropiate

20 Any Questions?

21 Contacts Mark Causer whg Welfare Reform Specialist Charles Grundy Housing Partners Limited

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