or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
On a visit to an ALMO in Derbyshire recently, I was surprised to see a message on the back of a repairs van. It extolled the virtues of ‘Pay To Stay’. That's not something I see a lot, occasionally in clients where I work, I have encountered strap-lines like ‘Something for something’, but what was on the van went further.
Laying my cards on the table from this second paragraph, I believe wholeheartedly that as a sector, we really do need to get on with making the ‘Think Commercially, Act Social’ philosophy, something practical and real. Something that will drive efficiency as well as helping our tenants and wider customers in their communities. Culturally, we have been propped up by a piped in feed of directly paid Housing Benefit, with little need to have to think like a bank or dare I say it, the PRS.
No-one can deny we need a lot of change, our systems and processes need to change and we have got to change the mindset of our staff and management.
When universal Credit forces HB to be paid direct to claimant, where will social housing be in the hierarchy of what gets paid first. I suspect that credit cards or payday loans will be paid in preference, as these both cost more, the longer the debt is owed. Could we see a day when housing associations and ALMOs levy interest on arrears debt? We need to be thinking how our systems might allows us to add our interest as an automated charge code, after a period agreed in the tenancy agreement.
A few repair teams I work with already levy a £15 or similar charge if a no-access is encountered. Some also credit £15 if they as contractor miss the appointment too. If the same was applied to rent transactions, where a tenant was in credit, maybe we encouraged that by paying a reasonable rate of interest. E.G. 0.5% over base rates.
I apologise if these suggestions appear jarring, but I think you can prepare for some more thinking on these lines, in the months and years ahead. Are we needing carrots, sticks or both, going forward?
Related Post: Are your Social Media types 24 hour party people?
You can link with me on LinkedIn here - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy It would be great to connect !
Pulp - Something Changed.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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