1 Hertfordshire Financial Capability & Inclusion Forum SUPPORT PROVIDED TO RESIDENTS & CLIENTSSurvey Analysis and Shared Information from meeting held 13th January 2014
2 Contents Introduction Encouraging Saving and Affordable Credit Discouraging Payday LoansAppliances, Furniture and FurnishingsIdeas and ActionsToday – we hope you enjoy the programme.Please take time to visit the stands and leaflet displays – a good way of finding out more about who does what and who you might want to work with.At we are going to have 4 workshops starting. You will see from the sticker on your name badge and in the delegates list that you have been allocated a colour. This represents the workshop group you are in. And you can find out where you have to go by looking at the programme in your pack.We are looking forward to hearing your ideas and feedback in the workshops – this will help us to listen to your advice and understand your needs and issues.And please don’t forget to complete your evaluation form and hand it in before you leave today.And I promise that you will leave today with at least one good new idea or contact.
3 IntroductionInitial sharing of information at Housing Providers’ meeting in DecemberSurvey developed and circulated to wider group15 responses received prior to meeting 13th JanuaryThis document also includes further links and additional information discussed at the meeting
4 Encouraging Saving and Affordable Credit HOUSING STAFFFinancial InclusionIncome TeamsSupport WorkersRESIDENTSPotential/NewPeople with debt/financial issuesADVICEInternal and/or referred to:External agencies(see below)INFORMATIONLeafletsOwn WebsitesOther Sites(Examples and links below)TRAINING/EVENTSIn-house, external and partnership events(Further information below)CREDIT UNIONSRange of relationships (see below)
5 Money Advice – who does what Housing – Internal Advisors*Tenants in arrears, at risk or change of circumstancesPotential/new tenantsCitizens Advice Bureaux*Anyone resident in local districts, but funding/resources vary so will prioritise help to those in greatest need. Light touch help for non priority debts.Telephone advice provided via county rotaChristians Against PovertyHelp those with high support needs – those in crisis at risk of losing their home. May not suit highly vulnerable clients.Money Advice ServiceProvide light tough advice via single 45 min sessions. Good for those with specific questions but not for complex debt problemsStepChangeFormerly Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)Free debt advice – suitable for non priority debtspayplanProvide debt management plans, some services are chargeableSuitable for non priority debtsNational DebtlineFree advice on dealing with debt problems – also for non priority debtsCredit Unions*Depending on resources, some CUs will support those who are in debt.HCC Money Advice UnitCurrently funded to provide support directly to families in Broxbourne, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead. Professionals may seek advice from MAU on benefits, welfare reform etc on behalf of their clients* Resources and services available will vary between different organisations
6 Information Provision- examples/links Thrive HomesNorth Herts HomesFilm – “Money Made Simple”Money Saving Expert WebsiteHCC Money Advice Unit
7 Financial Capability Training/Events For your clients/residents:The Hertfordshire CABx can deliver this, contact Marion Seneschall or Carole RoyceNB the challenge is how you promote/package this so that the people who need it attendLocal events – the Money Makeover events in Welwyn Hatfield were very successful in 2013 – 100 people in total attended.For professionals – the HCC Money Advice Unit provides training on Welfare Reform etc for frontline workers in the voluntary and housing sector. Contact:Training Resources – a range of resources are available via the HTDC website for use by those delivering financial capability training.If you have resources available to share with others so we can continue to improve and update the site
8 Credit Unions – Range of Relationships with Housing: PromotionReferralsPartnership WorkingIntegrated in support team (e.g. YMCA)Specific products/agreements e.g.:Funding/underwriting loans (NHH)Managed Accounts for tenants (NHH/Hertsavers)CredEcard (Watford CHT)Jam Jar Accounts – topical interest due to Welfare ReformsBut complex to manage and costly to provideOther ventures launching in advance of Universal Credit:E.g. Post Office pilot in Harpenden and Bishop’s Stortford
9 Discouraging Payday Loans TALK ABOUT IT1:1 or small groupsSimply demonstrate how debts can escalateCompare with alternatives e.g. CU loansNegotiate alternative repaymentsPREVENTIONTraining and EducationArticles and LeafletsPROMOTE/PROVIDE ALTERNATIVESOwn emergency loans (NHH, WCHT)Credit Union LoansFoodbanksGrants e.g. HWAS, Local fundsNational Housing Federation –My Home Finance and Contents InsuranceQuids In
10 Support for Appliances, Furniture or Furnishings Information and referrals – furniture schemes, white goods schemes, FreecycleFinancial helpSmall grants, vouchers or discounts at furniture schemes (B3 Living, NHH, Riversmead) – often focussed on new tenantsAssistance to access grants e.g. Turn2Us, HWAS, Local Hardship funds (North Herts), DWP budgeting advances, Local trusts and charities e.g. SAFACU loans for creditworthy clientsOther supportRecycle furniture from voids and families downsizing (Riversmead)Negotiate discounts/deals with suppliers (WCHT investigating)
11 What else has worked well Riversmead – partnership working with CAB and Genesis HousingNorth Herts Homes – fund worker from HYH for tenants under 25A contribution from the individual to add sense of value and own esteem (YMCA)Ensure tenants aware of support available from your team and get help early on (Guinness South)Having a good rapport with external providers and regular communication/updating (Howard Cottage)
12 Key issues Cuts in benefits and welfare have increased demand Difficult to access help from HWAS:Updated information has been requested from HCC and will be circulatedProblems in obtaining repayments from crisis loan borrowers (St Albans CU)
13 Ideas for DiscussionCentral directory* for referral agencies (Riversmead, Paradigm, Sanctuary)Improved awareness of services and criteria* (YMCA)Newsletter with updates on what’s available* (Howard Cottage)database to ask other members of the forum about experience in dealing with particular situations* (Howard Cottage)Low cost packages with suppliers (WCHT)Improved digital inclusion is a key priority (NHH/Digital Unite)Planning to train up Digital Champions* Outcome of discussion at the meeting is on next slide
14 Information on Services, Grants etc The Herts Direct website has an alphabetical, categorised directory of community organisationsProvides overview and contact details, but may not be 100% comprehensive or up to dateIncludes – Advice on Money and Debt; Furniture Schemes; Grant-making organisationsMore detailed information such as up to date eligibility for support or funding could be considered as part of the CAB Advice Services Transition Fund projects?Further discussion and brief will be required
15 Sarah Elliott Development Worker Hertfordshire Training & Development ConsortiumHTDC is a project led by Hertfordshire Community Foundation, registered charity numberThank you – and enjoy the morning and lunch.