Welsh Government estimates 2012/13 there were 412,779 rented households in Wales. Of these 223,170 (54%) are rented from local authorities or social landlords and 189,610 (46%) are in the private sector. 2011/12 in excess of 7,500 people were directly employed by RSL’s in Wales (Community Mutual s Commission) StepChange Debt Charity – between 2010 and 2013 the percentage of clients in rented accommodation with arrears increased from 18.4% to 24.9% in Wales. In 2013 the average rent arrears of StepChange clients in Wales was £599. (Overall in 2013 there was a 44% increase in the number of people contacting StepChange’s helpline).
Bevan Foundation report for the Public Policy Institute Wales estimates that there are 400,000 people in Wales in arrears and/or feel that debt is a heavy burden and about half of all those in debt have household incomes of less than £20,000 a year. Shelter Cymru and Citizens Advice report ‘Meeting housing costs in Wales’ (2013) found that nearly half of Welsh adults who pay rent or a mortgage struggle to keep up with payments or are falling behind at least some of the time while 1 in 8 (12%) struggle constantly. A report from Legal and General (Deadline to the Breadline Report 2014) showed that people in Wales have the lowest levels of savings across the UK with a median of only £520 and are on average only 15 days away from the breadline.
Welfare Benefit Reform Reduction in income Change in mechanism of payment
Understanding needs and limitations CREDIT UNION ●Financial ●Resources ●Data sharing ●Products
What’s in it for me? ●Housing ●Credit Union ●Tenants
Meeting the needs of your communities & staff. First and foremost under UC all tenants will need a bank/CU account in which to receive their benefits payment. Increased rent collection For your tenants who are not able to open/use a bank account and are at risk of non payment, the rent account is the closest product available to direct payments. Membership available to tenants and staff alike ( payroll deduction). Supports wider FI of your organisation, by raising awareness of the products and services available, lower cost loans. Negating the need to use doorstep/payday/loan shark. An opportunity to increase tenant engagement.
Growth & sustainability Opportunity to promote membership to both staff and tenants. Increase membership and level of savings Payroll deduction makes it easy Increase tier 1 Loans Increase visibility and awareness Opportunity to work with other partners
Tenants Improved financial capability Access a range of products that meet their varying needs (not one size fits all) Help to prioritise rent and other payments Sustained tenancies Improved wellbeing
Activity / Breakout 1.What do you think are the barriers to you working with the housing sector? 2.What do you think the barriers are to the housing sector working with you? 3.How do we overcome these barriers?
Barriers to partnership working ●Dynamics of organisations – both housing and CU ●Personalities ●Capacity ●Financial