Customers advised to seek financial advice early
Futures has recorded low levels of rent arrears by helping the most vulnerable customers with advice on beating money worries.
In 2016/17 we saw a 0.85% rent arears rate – one of the lowest in the country – despite a surge in customers receiving Universal Credit for the first time.
Our income team used data to find out which customers may be most at risk of falling behind with rent payments and launched a proactive campaign to provide money advice and support.
Lynn Aston, Futures’ Director of Customer Services, said: “Over the last year we have achieved low rent arrears, which is great news, but we’re not resting on our laurels.
“We will continue to support all of our customers to ensure they are financially stable. Our Money Advice team is always available to offer support and advice.
“With Universal Credit continuing its roll-out across the country we’re also conscious of the impact this is having on rent payments and budgeting so our team remains committed to a proactive approach.”
With Universal Credit set to arrive in Derbyshire areas in May, customers concerned about future payments and claims are advised to contact a member of the money advice team.
The introduction of the single benefit system means claimants receive a single payment, including housing benefit which would previously have been automatically paid to the housing provider. Since the roll-out Universal Credit, the level of council housing tenants entering rent arrears has increased to 86%, compared to 39% of those who do not receive the payment.
Working closely with the Job Centre, the team offers budgeting support and uses the insight it has on its customers to act early and provide bespoke support to anyone who might be at risk of falling into debt or facing financial difficulties.
We also provide employability and skills training for all customers through Futures Gateway, supporting individuals to learn new skills and access job opportunities.