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Homes and places where people want to live Helping Tenants with Money Management Traffic Light Letters and Visiting Cards Benjamin Chilvers (Rent Operations.

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Presentation on theme: "Homes and places where people want to live Helping Tenants with Money Management Traffic Light Letters and Visiting Cards Benjamin Chilvers (Rent Operations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Homes and places where people want to live Helping Tenants with Money Management Traffic Light Letters and Visiting Cards Benjamin Chilvers (Rent Operations Manager) Nottingham City Homes 10 th June 2009

2 Homes and places where people want to live Context 40% of adults in Nottingham fail to meet the Government’s basic literacy standard Key rent communications are made by letter / printed media, including visiting cards Concern raised by NCH Tenant Rent Panel that letters were often ignored, leading to avoidable enforcement action Need identified to differentiate between communication types, such as statements and legal notices People use differing learning and/or reading methods. By using graphical representation an opportunity exists to communicate in a more inclusive manner INFORMATION

3 Homes and places where people want to live Practical Implementation Concept devised, agreed and developed with full involvement of the Tenant Rent Panel and approved by the Communications Panel (comprising employees and tenants) Traffic light system used as it represents an internationally and cross-culturally recognised symbol Each colour (and position) represents different levels of importance or urgency For example, statements (or information) are flagged as ‘green’, pre court letters are ‘amber’, enforcement or court letters are ‘red’. WARNING

4 Homes and places where people want to live …on the organisation and its finances In 2008 – 2009 Nottingham City Homes achieved an ‘in year’ collection rate of %, and an arrears reduction of £776,776. Production of cards and letterhead paper sourced through collective procurement exercise, cards cost 1p each …on tenants’ lives In 2008 – 2009 the number of evictions carried out reduced by 26% from previous year, proportion of tenants with notices fell by 3.8% …on the Tenant Rent Panel Tenant Rent Panel delegates were keen to shape the actual direction, selection and implementation of ideas DANGER Impact…

5 Homes and places where people want to live Rent arrears reductionBV66a March £6.53mMarch 2005 – 93% March £2.85mMarch 2009 – 96.9% Arrears as proportion of debitCases over 7 weeks in arrears March 2005 – 8.6%March % March 2009 – 3.4%March 2009 – 8.3% Organisational Context Cases Over 52 Weeks… March 2005 – March Down to only 5!

6 Homes and places where people want to live Future Developments Opportunity to extend use of traffic light concept to other areas of the business such as tenancy and estate management ( anti social behaviour) and repairs (particularly gas servicing) With greater emphasis on personal contact, measures such as this aim to increase the likelihood of ‘call backs’ from tenants following home visits where contact failed Opportunities to use seasonal messages alongside corporate branding, promote financial inclusion events, products or services Opportunity for branding to be added to online rent account function available through website

7 Homes and places where people want to live Green Card This card is used to reflect the fact that a tenant is paying as agreed, to be used in cases where sustained arrears reduction payments have been made.

8 Homes and places where people want to live Amber Card This card is used when contact is required to avert further escalation. The aim of using this card is to encourage the tenant to engage.

9 Homes and places where people want to live Red Card This card is used when urgent contact is required and action is imminent. Not to be used lightly…

10 Homes and places where people want to live Green Letter Used to identify ‘information, no action needed’. Typically used for statements or other passive communications Advice and payment options clearly identified Invitation to contact rent team in the event of any query, but no formal request to do so

11 Homes and places where people want to live Amber Letter Used to signify ‘warning’, problem has been noted – what can we do to help? ‘Stage bar’ at bottom of letter signifies progress from first stage to second ‘alert level’ Advice and payment options clearly identified in coloured boxes All ‘amber light’ letters sent to vulnerable tenants are hand delivered – further ensuring that the message reaches vulnerable tenants.

12 Homes and places where people want to live Red Letter Used to signify ‘danger’, normally of eviction or other enforcement action ‘Stage bar’ at bottom of letter signifies further progress towards decisive action Advice and payment options clearly displayed on letter preceding notice All ‘red light’ letters are hand delivered to vulnerable tenants, as with amber letters

13 Homes and places where people want to live Thank you – Any questions?


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