From: Jeff Hewitt, Managing director for housing, Civica
Sir – With the introduction of universal credit looming large, it is more important than ever that housing providers clearly understand their tenants, particularly those considered high risk or vulnerable to these changes. In fact due to the added pressures introduced by the Welfare Reform Act, there is a social obligation to be able to effectively profile them in order to identify specific needs on a person-by-person basis. This follows on quickly from the highly politicised subject of sub-letting. In some cases, housing providers were slow to deal with this difficult subject. However under the Welfare Reform agenda, the repercussions of a lack of action in this area will have major financial implications through significantly reduced revenues.
This is more than just a cultural change within housing and while your software supplier may not have all the answers, they might have more than you think.
Wouldn’t the following be a significant help? The ability to profile your tenants and to identify those ‘high risk’ individuals in order to mitigate that risk and give you the opportunity to provide the associated services to manage their specific needs; help in increasing your revenue collection through improved Direct Debit processes as well as providing sophisticated and secure revenue collection options; enhance the back-office capabilities within housing management systems to mitigate the effects of Welfare Reform.
While IT cannot solve all your universal credit headaches, it can help significantly in dealing with the impact and ensuring minimum disruption to your organisation. Why not ask you supplier what they can do? You never know, you might be surprised by the breadth of their offerings.