Key Points
  • Impact of Universal Credit and mitigating its impact on rent arrears at national and local levels
  • Promoting financial capability and supporting customers to sustain tenancies
  • Identifying and supporting high-risk households; including those with mental health problems and those at risk of financial abuse
  • Increasing income through recuperating former rent arrears
  • Last resorts; evictions and up to date case law


Overview
Chair: Jen Barfoot, Chief Executive, Homes in Sedgemoor
Chloe Fletcher, Policy Director, National Federation of ALMOs
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, National Landlord’s Association
Paul Hunter, Deputy Director, The Smith Institute
Eugene Nixon, Head of Strategy and Compliance, Southwark Council
Zoë Whittington, Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers
Emma Owens, Head of Customer Accounts, Curo
Ali Pearce, Housing Services Manager – Income, Sovereign
Maggie Houghton, Programme Manager, Hyde Foundation
Marion Kelly, Former Tenants Officer, Leaseholder and Rechargeable Repairs Team, Nottingham City Homes
Tara O'Leary, Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers
Minesh Patel, Policy Manager, Citizens Advice

Westminster Insight’s Reducing Rent Arrears Conference comes at a critical time for housing providers. With the roll out of Universal Credit many tenants are having to manage their own rent payments for the first time, which is challenging the ability of social landlords to collect income.

Attend this event to gain a national overview of the impact of Universal Credit on rental payments and hear directly from one of the first councils in the UK to fully roll out the reform about how they are mitigating the changes.

With best practice case studies to help you formulate an effective strategy to maximise rental incomes, from improving residents’ financial capability, successfully collecting former tenant arrears and identifying and protecting the most vulnerable households.

Don’t miss your opportunity to maximise rental collection, minimise arrears and support customers to sustain tenancies and avoid costly evictions.


Agenda
Start

09:20 - 09:50
Registration Tea and Coffee

 

09:50 - 10:00
Chair’s Opening Remarks

 

Speakers

Jen Barfoot Chief Executive, Homes in Sedgemoor

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10:00 - 10:40
The National Impact of Universal Credit on Rent Arrears so Far

 
  • Reasons for increased levels of arrears
  • Differences in levels of areas between housing providers
  • What you can do to mitigate the effects of UC

Speakers

Chloe Fletcher Policy Director, National Federation of ALMOs

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Richard Lambert Chief Executive Officer, National Landlord’s Association

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Minesh Patel Policy Manager, Citizens Advice

Read profile


10:40 - 11:00
Early Roll-Out of Universal Credit and its Impact on Local Rent Arrears

 
  • The investigation and results of our findings

Speakers

Paul Hunter Deputy Director, The Smith Institute

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11:00 - 11:20
Case Study: Interventions to Mitigate the Impact of Universal Credit on Local Rent Arrears

 
  • The story so far    
  • Improving residents’ budgeting skills and the importance of digital inclusion
  • Supporting residents to maintain their tenancies and respond to debt
  • Capturing tenants’ views and experiences to inform improvements to rent arrears policy and practice in relation to UC


Speakers

Eugene Nixon Head of Strategy and Compliance, Southwark Council

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11:20 - 11:30
Questions and Discussion

 

11:30 - 12:00
Networking Tea and Coffee Break

 

12:00 - 12:20
Increasing Tenants’ Financial Capability

 
  • Pre-tenancy financial management support
  • Personal budgeting and reducing expenditure
  • Forming positive relationships with money and healthy savings habits
  • Helping tenants deal with debts and signposting to emergency support
  • Linking with employment services

Speakers

Emma Owens Head of Customer Accounts, Curo

Read profile


12:20 - 12:30
Questions and Discussion

 

12:30 - 12:50
Financial Abuse and Rent Arrears

 
  • Understanding different types of economic abuse
  • Recognising the signs and identifying those most at risk
  • Why victims are reluctant to engage with services
  • Providing support to victims

Speakers

Ali Pearce Housing Services Manager – Income, Sovereign

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12:50 - 13:00
Questions and Discussion

 

13:00 - 14:00
Networking Lunch

 

14:00 - 14:20
Rent Arrears and Mental Health

 
  • Why people with mental health problems are more likely to fall behind with their rent
  • Improving communications to increase take-up of support
  • Successful interventions and overcoming common barriers
  • The Breathing Space scheme

Speakers

Maggie Houghton Programme Manager, Hyde Foundation

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14:20 - 14:30
Questions and Discussion

 

14:30 - 14:50
Managing Former Tenant Arrears (FTA)

 
  • Understanding the reasons behind FTA and its impact
  • Prevention and interventions
  • Using tracing facilities, debt collectors and the latest technologies
  • Effective working with the courts as part of the recovery process

Speakers

Marion Kelly Former Tenants Officer, Leaseholder and Rechargeable Repairs Team, Nottingham City Homes

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14:50 - 15:00
Questions and Discussion

 

15:00 - 15:20
Last Resorts – A Legal Perspective

 
  • Legal updates and latest case law   
  • Running a Possession Order        
  • Legal action and the Human Rights Act     
  • Training staff in the legal process

Speakers

Zoë Whittington Barrister Cornerstone Barristers

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15:20 - 15:30
Questions and Discussion

 

15:30 - 15:40
Chair’s Closing Remarks and Close of Conference

 

End

Speakers

Jen Barfoot Chief Executive, Homes in Sedgemoor

Read profile

Chloe Fletcher Policy Director, National Federation of ALMOs

Read profile

Maggie Houghton Programme Manager, Hyde Foundation

Read profile

Paul Hunter Deputy Director, The Smith Institute

Read profile

Marion Kelly Former Tenants Officer, Leaseholder and Rechargeable Repairs Team, Nottingham City Homes

Read profile

Richard Lambert Chief Executive Officer, National Landlord’s Association

Read profile

Eugene Nixon Head of Strategy and Compliance, Southwark Council

Read profile

Emma Owens Head of Customer Accounts, Curo

Read profile

Minesh Patel Policy Manager, Citizens Advice

Read profile

Ali Pearce Housing Services Manager – Income, Sovereign

Read profile

Zoë Whittington Barrister Cornerstone Barristers

Read profile


Venue details

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Venue website

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