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Bad Weather, Good Habits: encouraging social housing tenants to save more Presented by Lemos&Crane and supported by Friends Provident Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Bad Weather, Good Habits: encouraging social housing tenants to save more Presented by Lemos&Crane and supported by Friends Provident Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bad Weather, Good Habits: encouraging social housing tenants to save more Presented by Lemos&Crane and supported by Friends Provident Foundation

2 Methodology Lemos&Crane worked with 6 social landlords: The Wrekin Housing Trust CHS Hyde group Hastoe Housing Association Circle Housing Group Aster Group In-depth interviews with 220 social housing tenants.

3 Background and Policy Context Why savings? Why social landlords? - Business case - Financial inclusion and capability - Moral case Policy Context -More assertive policy agenda -Welfare reform and Universal Credit -Strivers and Skivers -NEST: Defaults, loss aversion and Nudging If tenants had savings and were better placed to deal with emergencies, ultimately we would have less rent arrears.

4 Tenants Lives 45% experiencing a challenging situation making them socially or financially vulnerable Of these, 66% were living with physical ill health or disability 80% between 18-65 37% single person households 43% had children, and roughly half and half single parent and two parent households average income £18,171

5 Benefit Status and Attitudes Towards Money No significant correlation between benefit income and attitude towards money Fully dependentReceiving someNot receiving any

6 Hobbies and Interests The majority prioritise low cost, high contentment activities 2% listed shopping as among their hobbies 0.5% listed spending money

7 Characters, Lifestyles and Perfect Days Peaceful, surrounded by loved ones Realizing nirvana Go to a botanic garden – read a book and stroll day at the seaside Gardening I would describe myself as more of an introvert. Relax. Me time Ill help anybody Trip to the park with family

8 Major Life Events 88% had experienced at least one major life event during their tenancy, including: Health problems Having a baby Entering employment Redundancy Divorce Retirement.

9 Tenants Worries 66% of respondents said that they had persistent day-to-day worries Money was the most common worry – amounting to 63% overall (33% including those without worries) 89% of those with persistent money worries were not regularly saving Do you have any persistent worries?

10 Experiences and Attitudes towards Money 55% of respondents were careful savers 67% are mostly getting by with at least a small amount left over each month

11 Borrowing 61% of borrowers were up to date and coping with repayments 62% of respondents said they did not borrow

12 Future Planning 62% said they were in work but not planning for retirement 56 % did not know how they would cope with an unexpected expenditure

13 Saving Behaviour 24% were saving regularly 33% held some savings The majority of savers held up to £1,000 73% felt they should save more [I would like to save] because I would like to have a money cushion to rely on when its needed. I have nothing to fall back on if a disaster was to happen. Are you saving regularly?

14 Savings Targets Those not regularly saving were just as likely to have clear ideas of what they wanted to save for as those who were saving. [I would like to save] because I would like to have a money cushion to rely on when its needed. A holiday would be lovely!

15 Why are tenants not saving? The overwhelming majority say they would like to save but cannot afford to do so (95%) We dont have enough money to be able to save. cant afford to! I would like to [save] eventually but I dont have any money now Do you think you should save more?

16 Could tenants save more? 67% are managing their money with at least a small amount left over. [Financial impact of having children includes] having to buy treats etc for kids to take to school for the class so children feel accepted. I am sensible but extravagant with my grandchildren. We struggle but we do go away once a year. [Why not saving?] Income is too low if we are to have a holiday.

17 How can landlords help? 39% said they would welcome their landlords help in opening a savings account 47% said they would welcome their landlords help in joining a Christmas club. More information to tenants on ways to save. Good to have financial advisers - more support and advice especially for people in debt/rent arrears. Help filling in key forms relating to money and saving.

18 Conclusions Stereotypes of social housing residents Tenants experiences of and attitude towards money Social norm of lifestyle-related expenditure Segmentation and landlord involvement

19 Tenants more radical suggestions Maybe if we paid a little bit more on our direct debit rental payments that could be saved on our behalf. I could pay a couple of pounds more when I pay my rent that would be put into a savings account. This would build up over time and I would not miss it. A small amount would be money that I would not miss! I pay a little bit more on my rent account and this puts me in credit. Even a little bit would be useful.

20 Rent Plus Tenants open a savings account, perhaps a cash ISA, with a supplier identified by the landlord Tenants make a budget of reasonable expenditure and identify any surplus cash regularly available for saving, whether large or small Tenants opt in preferably at sign up (though it would be open to all tenants) to overpaying their rent by a set monthly amount The money they overpay remains the tenants and cannot be used by the landlord to clear rent arrears The excess on the rent charge is periodically and automatically swept into a savings account Landlords can then top up the savings accounts with cash, prize draws and other incentives. Tenants can also top up the savings account if they have surplus cash over and above the regular amount saved Withdrawals from the account would be through the financial services provider in the normal way.

21 Full report available as a PDF from www.Lemos&Crane.co.uk www.Lemos&Crane.co.uk


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