Reducing poverty through financial inclusion

Content owner : housing@knh.org.uk Last updated : 01/10/2015

What was the need and how was it identified?

Two years into the implementation of welfare reform it is now possible to more accurately assess its impact on both KNH and Kirklees Council tenants. Below is an example of the difference we have made.


A lady we helped last year was in a three bedroom property and was really struggling to pay the under–occupation charge since her son and daughter had left home. She was unable to heat the property or pay for any food. Only a year or so ago she was in work but due to ill health, she had to give up her job working with heavy machinery. As a consequence she had to get used to living on benefits and not a full time wage like she was used to.


She became more withdrawn and her health deteriorated as she became more isolated, as she could not afford to go out other than to medical appointments. The house also had bad memories as she had recently gone through a relationship break–up. Her mum was also very unwell and needed care and support.


What difference has the project made?

The Arrears Recovery Officer visited and noticed this lady was really struggling and managed to get her a food parcel and some credit for her gas and electric. They also made a referral to the Homefit team.


Homefit registered her application for Choose n Move and helped support her with bidding for properties. It was not long before she had an offer of a bungalow nearer to her mum and Homefit arranged a removals service to help her on the day. They also helped her contact the utility companies so she could get settled into her new home.



What outcomes were achieved?

  • This lady now lives only a few streets away from her mum so they both benefit
  • She is no longer paying the under–occupation charge, has more money to spend on essentials such as food, and seems much more confident in her new home with a fresh start.
  • She loves that she has a bungalow, given that she still has blackouts and falls.
  • She was extremely thankful for the extra support from Homefit and would not have had the confidence to sort her move without their support.


What factors were keys to the success of the project?

Through the two KNH departments working together, this lady now has a fresh start in a property that is more affordable and manageable for her. The effect on her mental health has been overwhelmingly positive and she can now begin to try and re–build a new live there.


What objectives does the project contribute to?

Kirklees Council

Work together with people to increase their income and reduce their living costs


KNH

  • Challenge – poverty and debt
  • Quality – improve health and well being

Social Housing Equality Framework

  • 3.7 – significant measurable outcomes
  • 3.12 – benchmarking our achievements and sharing good practice

Customer Service Excellence

  • 1.1.3 – We make particular efforts to identify hard–to–reach and disadvantaged groups and individuals and have developed our services in response to their specific needs.
  • 1.2.1 – We have a strategy for engaging and involving customers using a range of methods appropriate to the needs of identified customer groups.
  • 5.2.3 – We promptly share customer information with colleagues and partners within our organisation whenever appropriate and can demonstrate how this has reduced unnecessary contact for customers.