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"The Welfare Reforms workshop is extremely beneficial for staff, tenants and board members in ensuring organisations can pro-actively prepare to minimise the negative financial impact of these major reforms, on future income received from Housing Benefit and on arrears. "

Maria Murphy,
CEX, Derby Homes


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Financial Inclusion Training for Landlords - Building Relationships, Working Differently

Are your staff and your organisation ready for Direct Payments?

 
This LIN training course will enable landlords to design their strategy for managing the anticipated impact of this welfare reform and will equip frontline officers with the financial inclusion capability they will need to deliver it. 

In the current economic climate, landlords increasingly have to support tenants in financial distress. The anticipated impact of welfare reform will place even greater demands on their organisational capacity to provide tenants with personal budgeting support and money advice.

To be phased in from October 2013, Universal Credit will radically change the way in which benefits are paid towards the rent of working-age tenants. Unless tenants qualify for alternative payment arrangements on grounds of vulnerability, their housing costs will be paid directly to them, for them to pay their landlords.

The experiences of the projects piloting Direct Payments confirm the worry that these changes will lead to increased rent arrears. Importantly, they also suggest that this threat is best managed if landlords are equipped to help tenants resolve the financial barriers preventing them from paying their rent in full. To do so, landlords must foster supportive relationships with their tenants, build partnerships with specialist advice/support agencies, and work differently to control rent arrears.

 

People who will benefit greatly from attending this course are:  

  • All staff and managers involved in rent arrears and income management
  • Allocations and sign-up staff
  • Housing officers
  • Housing advice centre staff
  • All staff and managers involved in financial inclusion, income maximisations and welfare benefits advice work 
  • Staff responsible for delivering or managing frontline tenant services, who have little or no money advice expertise.

 

Topics covered:

Understanding the context

  • Direct Payments, 'vulnerability' and alternative payment arrangements
  • The causes and effects of debt

Getting equipped

  • Enagaging and working with people in financial distress
  • Money advice basics

Developing strategies

  • Action planning and next steps
  • Partnership/referral mechanisms

 

What will they learn:

  • Appreciate the implications of Direct Payments
  • Understand the causes and effects of debt
  • Engage effectively with tenants in financial distress
  • Help tenants develop their financial capability
  • Draw up financial statement and differentiate  between priority and non-priority debts
  • Advise on options and remedies, and know when to refer to specialist services

 

If you are interested in accessing this training package please contact Claire Turner Director of the Landlord Information Network, to discuss bespoke training on T: 01246 413791 or E: info@landlordinformationnetwork.co.uk

 

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Viv Ashley is a lead associate and trainer for Landlord Information Network, in addition to being a freelance writer with expertise in housing and homelessness law and tenancy sustainment. She is currently completing a doctorate at the University of Essex which considers the efficacy of social welfare policies that seek to promote personal autonomy and responsibility. Prior to this, she worked for many years within the social welfare sector, latterly for Shelter, providing legal advice and assistance to people who were homeless, threatened with eviction or badly housed. Viv has experience of developing and delivering training on housing and welfare rights, and on the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and is practised at tailoring materials to the needs of a broad range of different audiences, from academics to frontline professionals.

 

Rebecca Wilkie is a lead associate and trainer for Landlord Information Network and has 14 years experience, 7 of which are at a senior level delivering all aspects of Housing Management at both operational and strategic levels improving and reshaping services.  She has, working as part of a management team, taken an ALMO from zero stars in 2005 to three stars from the Audit Commission in 2010. 

She has extensive experience in writing, consulting on and implementing policies, procedures and strategies and has worked as part of a small team developing and delivering training and briefings to well over 500 members of staff, partners and customers as well as leading consultation sessions. 

Rebecca has worked to transform services and implemented new initiatives including introducing new structures and IT systems.  With the responsibility for Financial Inclusion, working with staff and partners, she has been able to ensure that arrears and legal actions are kept to a minimum with evictions reducing year on year for the past five years. 

Rebecca offers a wealth of experience in training having an informal and inclusive style that engenders trust and openness within groups.

 

If you are interested in accessing this training package please contact Claire Turner Director of the Landlord Information Network, to discuss bespoke training on T: 01246 413791 or E: info@landlordinformationnetwork.co.uk 

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