The WDH approach to income management
Our business intelligence has enabled us to take a controlled approach to the range of welfare reforms affecting our customers.
In a challenging economic climate, with a range of welfare reforms continuing to affect our customers, understanding their needs and developing efficient ways of working is essential for housing associations across the country. WDH encourages employees to generate ideas to shape their service area and improve the customer offer. Innovation plays a key part in our approach to income management and by bringing our concepts to life we have been able to streamline processes and tackle the complex financial difficulties of our customers with impressive results.
This year we launched two bespoke systems to manage our increasing universal credit caseload effectively without the need for additional staffing resources. By using automation we’ve been able to respond to customers in financial difficulty at the earliest opportunity and through streamlining our processes we have increased outputs across the board, helping residents sustain their tenancies and keeping rent arrears low.
A close working partnership between our debt recovery and financial inclusion teams has enabled us to find the perfect balance between traditional rent collection and the extra support needed by our vulnerable customers. This approach has enabled us to maximise our tenants’ income to improve tenancy sustainment, resulting in our lowest ever eviction rates. As wider tenancy issues, often linked to financial hardship, such as low level mental health and wellbeing concerns are fast becoming prevalent in society our customer service leadership approach enables us to work with internal services and external partners to put the necessary support in place before situations become unmanageable.
As welfare reform continues to affect our customers there are increasing challenges and pressures on the housing sector to respond. Our business intelligence generated through ongoing learning and evolving the way we do business enables a controlled approach for tackling these issues head on.
Pete Beaumont is financial inclusion manager at WDH, the winner of the outstanding approach to income management category of the 2017 UK Housing Awards.
WDH will be delivering a webinar on 6 December at 11am. If you are interested in booking on, you can register your place here.