Real Life Reform - monitoring the impact of welfare reform in the North

Release Date: 03-Jul-2013
What is Real Life Reform?

Welfare reform changes are beginning to affect the lives of social housing customers. As a social landlord, we know that these and future changes will impact our customers their families, social networks and their communities and many will struggle to manage.
As well as on going advice and support for customers affected by these changes we wanted to further understand how individuals were managing in their day to day lives.

Alongside six other housing organisations from the North of England and with support for the NHC and York University we have begun a research project that will bring together case studies of social housing customers affected by these welfare reform changes.

The research will track their journey over a period of time to really understand and capture the financial and human impact welfare reform changes may have.

Project details

We have identified a number of households that are affected by welfare reform who will become our case studies. Some of these case studies may also be affected by the Under Occupation Deduction, the move from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit when this comes in.
Each participating organisation will work with 10-15 households over a period of approximately 18 months to monitor record and understand their experiences. The questionnaire covers the under occupation deduction, applying for and receiving benefits, responding to non-benefit dependency, how they manage their finances now and when Universal Credit comes into play and generally how they cope.

• Each organisation will have 10-15 households they will intensively track and monitor.
• These case studies will aim to provide a cross section of household and benefit claimant types.
• Each case study household will undertake a survey / interview every three months using an agreed questionnaire being completed by trained staff.
• Each organisation will complete these questionnaires within a similar time frame.
• The interviews will begin in July 2013 with the first report expected in September 2013.

Communicating the results

We will use the results and insights that we gather from the research to form a joint report each quarter. The report will also be split by organisation to get a local perspective.

We will use both the national housing and local media to promote and share our findings as well as regular updates on this page and in our tenants magazine.

For more information please see the detailed project brief and FAQs - see links on right.

As well as KNH, there are six other housing organisations involved in the research alongside the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) and York University. You can find more information on each organisation by visiting their website. A number of other organisations have expressed an interest in taking part in the study by conducting the research and feeding into the results to widen the scope and impact of the research.

Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) -
LHT, Liverpool -
Halton Housing Trust -
Stockport Homes -
Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association -
Leeds Federated Housing Association -
North Star Housing Group, Teesside -

Contact details
If you would like further information on the project or would like to be involved please contact Matthew Gaunt, Rent Assist Team Manager, on 01484 456843