whg singled out in national report on homelessness
16th November 2022
whg’s work to sustain tenancies has been singled out in a national report assessing the steps made towards ending rough sleeping in England.
The housing association was highlighted as an example of best practice in the recent report published by the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping.
The report features whg’s collection with care model, which repositions income collection as a tailored and supportive service. It was used as a case study to showcase how rough sleeping can be, and has been, prevented in the context of the pandemic, the cost of living and energy crisis.
The model was developed during lockdown to reduce rent arrears and sustain tenancies. As part of the approach whg contacted customers to better understand their personal circumstances and tailor the service to meet their needs. This bespoke service, based on personal contact, ensured Income Collection was seen as an extra cog in the support system rather than as an enforcement team. Developing more trusting relationships with customers meant that those most at risk of falling behind on rent payments felt they were able to approach the team for help.
whg’s approach to sustain tenancies and support residents is just as important now as it was during the pandemic. As Lord Kerslake warns, the economic crisis is not just about getting people off the streets, it is about ensuring people who are currently at risk of homelessness don’t end up on them.
Corporate Director of Operations Fay Shanahan said: “whg has an ambition to not evict anyone into homelessness, with this work starting even before a tenancy begins.
“This new style of conversation, which removed the emphasis on enforcement to better engage with and support our customers, led to outstanding arrears performance, all the more remarkable in the face of the pandemic.
“The team’s success in this area is now being recognised nationally as an example of best practice and we are delighted to share our work to support the increasing number of residents across the UK at risk of losing their homes.”
The Kerslake Commission, an independent group of 36 experts from the health, housing and homelessness sectors, was established in 2021 to examine the lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the covid-19 pandemic.