West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) is using text messaging in its fight against rent arrears from tenants in the 21,000 properties it manages as an ALMO on behalf of Leeds City Council.
WNWHL’s two-week ‘Can’t pay? Won’t pay?’ campaign was targeted at around 800 tenants with outstanding rent arrears, with text messages used for the first time alongside phone calls and postcards offering financial support and advice.
Cathy Clelland from WNWHL said, “We realise that times are hard for many of our tenants, so we want to ensure that people get the support they need and this innovative campaign is a way of using as many forms of technology as possible to reach out to our residents.
“We often work with our partners at the Leeds Benefit Service to ensure tenants receive the benefits they are entitled to but we are also sending a strong message to customers that non payment will not be tolerated.”
WNWHL said that its entire campaign had cost less than £1000, with the text messages costing around 7p each. A total of 154 appointments have been successfully made so far and WNWHL expects to run similar projects in 2010.