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Testimonials

Bill has provided advice, information and support to SLH for many years. His vast knowledge and experience has proved invaluable, from our initial preparations for the introduction of Welfare Reform, to the on-going transition to Universal Credit Full Service and beyond to managed migration. Bill’s training is always of a high standard and delivered with an authority derived from years as a practitioner, which is second to none. Very enthusiastic and generous with his time, Bill’s training always receives a very positive response from our frontline staff. With a thorough understanding of benefits legislation, together with the ability to explain complex rules and regulations, Bill has not only raised our awareness of the challenge presented by Universal Credit Full Service but has also helped us to plan and develop our own response as a Housing Association, as well as to help support our tenants. On an on-going basis, Bill is always willing to respond to specific questions, but his UC Advice website is also an invaluable source of up to date information and guidance. I would thoroughly recommend signing up!

Chris Parks.  Income and Financial Inclusion Team Leader

  • South Lakes Housing, Cumbria

‘Bill is a valued member of the team at the RLA for his training and expertise on welfare and benefit issues. Many RLA members have benefited from Bill’s excellent courses on Universal Credit  – preparing them thoroughly for navigating themselves and their tenants through welfare matters. Bill is also on hand to assist private landlords with complex queries and complaints where unfortunately mistakes and mal administration has occurred with DWP Universal Credit claims, often for significant sums of money.  Bill understands the issues and processes of the legacy benefits system as well as Universal Credit meaning he is an excellent source of advice and guidance for landlords on all welfare matters.’

Policy Officer, Natalie Williamson

 

  • Residential Landlords Association

Bill worked with Wheatley Group right throughout the roll out of Universal Credit Full service across Glasgow and Edinburgh. He delivered training to over 300 housing officers through a series of small interactive events that really brought a wealth of knowledge to our staff, with some good practical tips and tools about how best to help our customers. We were really impressed with Bill’s insight and the breadth of information his course covered. While UC is never going to be easy for any landlord, thanks to Bill, our staff feel much more confident about this complex and challenging issue.

  • Liam Spence, Wheatley Group - Liam.Spence@wheatley-group.com

West Dunbartonshire, Social Housing landlords, received training form Bill just prior to UC Full service being rolled out in our area. The methods by which Bill explained the process and issues around claiming, including the claimant’s responsibilities, was very comprehensive and gave staff a clearer understanding of the issues that may arise as we start seeing full services cases in our neighbourhoods. It was also interesting to hear of the experiences of other landlords and claimants that Bill has supported and prepare us for any eventuality so we can have clearer understanding of what we can do as well as what the claimant can do. I have received positive feedback from all of the attendees about the training.

  • Martin Harvey - Knowes Housing Association
  • Knowes Housing Association

“I am very pleased to recommend the services of Bill Irvine. No one knows more about Universal Credit and the expansion of the DWP’s full service than Bill! With his vast knowledge and understanding of the whole housing benefits system, Bill is ideally placed to assist both landlords and tenants who are having issues with this.

Bill is also extremely generous in sharing his knowledge on social media, supporting landlord and tenant communities, and highlighting problems and injustice in the system, bringing it to the attention of policymakers and the DWP itself. Bill is nothing short of a brilliant advocate, and I regard it as a privilege to have him in my network of contact

  • Vanessa Warwick
  • Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com

Bill came along to The Community Housing Group to talk to Neighbourhood Officers, Arrears Team and Financial Inclusion Team about Universal Credit. His knowledge on the subject ensured that a complex issue was made easier to understand by the frontline staff in order for them to explain and support residents.
I would definitely recommend his training courses.

  • Helen Zinzan
  • Community Housing Group

“Universal Credit is a big issue for Housing Associations and our customers. We recently asked Bill to run a day’s training for the Housing Officers and they found it an excellent course and very informative. The most useful parts of the course were learning about overpayments, comparing differences between Universal Credit and Housing Benefit and looking at examples . We are also really pleased to have access to the Advice website for access to information whenever we want it”
Severn Vale Housing Society

  • Sue McLachlan

A big thank you to Bill for delivering a very successful Universal Credit Training day in November to Wishaw and District, Clyde Valley, Sanctuary and Lanarkshire Housing Associations. Now that we are starting to see our tenants migrating onto Universal Credit, we were keen to have frontline staff made aware of the changes to the benefits system. However, we had not realised just how complicated and challenging the new Universal Credit system would be for both us and our tenants. It was great to be able to talk about problems we have already experienced with our own cases, and benefit from the knowledge you have accrued since UC started.

  • Mykela Dunlop
  • Wishaw & District Housing Association

Universal Credit is such a huge issue for us and our tenants and we need to be sure that we give the correct advice and support to help people manage the changes.

We have recently had Bill train our frontline staff. The sessions were extremely informative. The feedback from staff has been excellent. The sessions were relaxed, informal with plenty of opportunities for discussion.

Bill has vast knowledge and experience to draw on, the real life examples of cases is particularly useful to put things into context. The sessions could have been dull as the subject matter can sometimes be a bit dry but Bill’s enthusiasm for the subject and detailed knowledge meant we were all kept interested and focused.

I look forward to further sessions in the coming months.

Joy Watson Tenant Services Manager, Hillcrest Group
  • Joy Watson

Thanks so very much for the very interesting and useful training over the past two days. Staff found the two days very informative and especially enjoyed your methods and style of delivery which captured our attention throughout, despite the nature of the topic.

Joanne Weir, Manager

  • Joanne Weir
  • Loreburn Housing Association

“I cannot recall such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to a training course. Even staff who questioned why they were asked to attend have reported that they found the course very interesting and entertaining. Thank you for all your effort and I am really pleased and heartened that my colleagues engaged with the subject”.

John Roach, Income Manager, Magenta Living HA, Birkenhead
  • John Roach
  • Magenta Living HA, Birkenhead

Bill Irvine delivered Universal Credit training to staff from six Edinburgh based Housing Associations. The sessions were clear, very informative, and interactive. Feedback from the training has been very positive, with the staff attending benefitting from Bill’s extensive knowledge not only of Universal Credit but the wider welfare benefit reforms. The training has helped ensure that staff are fully aware of the changes that will result from the introduction of Universal Credit.

Brendan Fowler, Director, Prospect Community Housing.
  • Brendan Fowler
  • Prospect Community Housing

I have presented various seminars along with Bill Irvine of Housing Benefit Advice. It is clear to me that he has a vast knowledge and thorough understanding of benefit legislation affecting landlords both in the private and social sectors. As a solicitor specialising in housing law and the Head of the Private and Social Rented Sector Teams at Lindsays I have no hesitation in referring clients requiring advice on housing benefit and local housing allowance to Bill.

  • Paul Harper

Glasgow centre for Inclusive Living provides a range of services to disabled people. Bill Irvine has helped us to understand the complex issues around welfare reform and the implications to our clients of the ongoing changes. Bill’s gift of being able to explain complex legislative changes in a simple easy to understand way has really helped us to keep providing information to our clients and know when to signpost them to specialist benefits advice services.

Grant Carson, Director

  • Grant Carson
  • Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living

Bill Irvine came to provide training on welfare reform to a range of different colleagues at Riverside Cumbria several months ago now. The standard of the training was excellent. My colleagues included operational staff from different teams through to specialists and also departmental Directors. The training was pitched to all staff present and was both very relevant and interesting. A number of my colleagues present at the training expressed very positive feedback to me about the training. I have also followed up queries with Bill since then which were fully addressed and we have been kept informed and updated with further information. I would have no hesitation to recommend this training to housing providers and other agencies.

Paul Taylor Riverside Cumbria

  • Paul Taylor
  • Riverside Cumbria

Your Housing Group are working with Bill as we develop our strategic and operational approach to Financial Inclusion and Welfare Reform. Bill’s advice, expertise, skills and experience are invaluable and have helped us to be aware of developments as they happen. We recognised we needed Bill’s skills as a fundamental part of our approach, working closely with out in house teams as we skill up to meet the challenges ahead.

  • Mary Walker
  • Your Housing Group

The Team received an excellent training session from Bill on impending Welfare Reform. The one day session was interesting and very informative and we all appreciated Bill’s easy and approachable style. We would be happy to use Bill’s expertise again.

  • Catriona Naughton
  • Albyn Housing Society

We have found Bill Irvine to be extremely knowledgeable on all issues relating to Welfare Benefits and Welfare Reform. Bill recently delivered an excellent training session for our Management Committee and Staff on the issue of Welfare Reform. Welfare Reform is a major risk for all housing associations.

  • Alasdair McKee
  • Glen Oaks Housing Association

Bill has a wealth of knowledge and experience built up over many years in the field of Housing Benefit; Welfare Benefits and financial inclusion. He has already become very familiar with the new welfare reforms and the impact these reforms will have on landlords and tenants. We have been fortunate to receive from him what I regard as essential guidance on the reforms and how we should prepare for them. I’m delighted at how his expertise has been able to help shape our mitigation planning.

  • Glenn Adcook
  • Aberdeenshire Housing Partnership

Bill Irvine’s knowledge and regular updates on Housing Benefit and the new Universal Credit are invaluable for keeping up to date with the ever evolving legislation for landlords who work with tenants in receipt of benefits. Cutting through the jargon and getting to the point, is how he succeeds where others fail. Recently the swift intervention of Bill and his team helped us claim back several thousand pounds of LHA from our local authority. I’d recommend them to both private and social landlords alike.

  • James Redfern

Loreburn Housing Association’s ability to respond to and prepare for welfare reform has been greatly enhanced by the work we have done with Bill Irvine. Bill’s knowledge and experience along with his wide perspective as a practitioner, senior benefits and revenues manager and advisor across the whole housing sector, has been a great help to Loreburn in obtaining advice, information and some really effective training for staff in the run up to the welfare reform process. We will be using Bill’s services to provide further training for many of our staff as we move forward from the bedroom tax and other recent reforms to the challenges of universal credit and beyond.

  • Rob Stephenson
  • Loreburn Housing Association

I have always found Bill’s insights into the existing benefit system as well as his insights into the changes being brought about through welfare reform extremely helpful. Bill has delivered training sessions for us and gains the trust and confidence of participants very quickly.

  • Yvette Burgess
  • Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland

Bill was a great help to South Lakes Housing when we were preparing for the introduction of the welfare reforms. He acted as our critical friend at the time we were drafting our welfare reform action plan. He also delivered an excellent days training for our staff and his extensive knowledge of housing benefits shone through. His experience as a practitioner also helped him when considering relevant case studies with the team.

  • Alison Kinnon
  • South Lakes Housing

Bill Irvine has been working with Lochaber Housing Association’s Housing Management staff since August 2012. He has provided us with face to face training on Welfare Reform issues including Under-Occupancy, DHP and Universal Credit. He has also provided us with email information and links to relevant websites. Bill has been extremely helpful to staff responsible for informing tenants about the changes and how they will be affected.

  • David MacLaren
  • Lochaber Housing Association

Although I have much experience in dealing with housing benefit over the last 12 years of property investing I, from time to time, have to seek guidance and clarification on matters which are above my technical remit. Each time I have contacted the HB advice service I have had many issues dealt with straight away and their expertise in this field is second to none. I sincerely mean this as I have used other so called ‘experts’ from all over the country and I found Bill’s knowledge in Case Law paramount. With their help we at concentric lettings have successful outcomes on every case we have given to them.

  • Steven Latham
  • Concentric Lettings Ltd

With all the legislation and criteria involved in renting to LHA tenants, we wanted to make sure that as a business we got it right first and every time. With Bill on board, I know that the service we offer our client landlords and tenants is second to none. Bill has hosted training days for our staff and Franchise owners on the complexities of HB and Universal Credit, and his days are always packed with content and useful advice to get things moving. In short, Bill offers plain, no nonsense, as it is practical advice to help you through the maze, that is LHA and I wouldn’t be without his encyclopaedia of knowledge and could not recommend him high enough as the person to talk to for any queries LHA related

  • Sally Lawson
  • Concentric Lettings Ltd

Bill’s detailed knowledge and long-standing experience of a wide range of welfare benefits and the quality of his advice and support are second to none. This is particularly important at the present time where his up-to-date expert knowledge and understanding provide a reassuring straight-forward road map and support to navigate through the rapid and complex changes currently taking place in welfare reforms. At Aspire, we have found his training sessions extremely useful and we would not hesitate to recommend him and his team to others.

  • Peter Millar
  • Chief Executive, Aspire Housing & Personal Development Services

Bill Irvine is like the Oracle or Yoda of Housing Benefit; if he does not know it, its not worth knowing.
With Bill Irvine in your camp, you need never ever worry about being short changed by any local authority: he has a 100% record with scores of my cases under this belt!

  • Bilesh Joshi

I have found Bill Irvine’s wealth of knowledge of the benefits system to be infinite, his help and guidance has been a great support to our company over the years, the training days he offers is a must for any one working in the PRS sector.

  • Sharon McCourt
  • Pennlylane Homes, Paisley

Bill has provided essential updates and valuable insights that have influenced our planning for welfare reform. His training sessions have delivered value and helped to motivate staff involved in welfare benefit and arrears control work. He gives us a direct line to excellent welfare benefit technical expertise and broad experience – this has raised our knowledge levels and helped us provide the necessary support and advice that tenants require.

  • Joe Gorman
  • Clydesdale Housing Association

There is so much misinformation and uncertainty in the public domain about Universal Credit,  it makes it very difficult for me as a letting agent to forward plan. Thankfully Bill cuts through the fog to provide clear explanations as to what is happening, what is likely to happen and most importantly, how best to prepare your business for the inevitable changes ahead. I cannot recommend his services (advocacy & training) highly enough.

  • Glenn Ackroyd
  • National Property Group

Bill’s knowledge and experience in Social and Private Housing and his specialist knowledge of Housing Benefit (LHA) is second to none. Always well informed, and up to date with legislation changes and caselaw and is capable of presenting complex issues s in a concise and informative manner allowing you to fully appreciate its importance and keep you one step ahead of the field.

  • Akeel Alidina
  • Caridon Property

I’m just a small landlord who had been repeatedly ripped off by various tenants. The Council’s HB section was not interested in helping.  I found using a solicitor, costly and of little use. SAL introduced me to Bill, and within a fortnight he had secured me just under a £1000 in the form of an ‘ex gratia’ payment in recompense for NOT paying me, as they should have direct. He is also pursuing the Council, on my behalf, to secure HB direct for my latest tenant.

  • Andrew Baillie
  • Dundee

I’m the owner of AJProperties with over 100 properties in my portfolio. Like most landlords, I’ve had a number of problems with the Housing Benefits since the new Regulations came in. I met Bill at a seminar run by the Scottish Association of Landlords – he was the main speaker. I have found Bill to be worth his weight in gold. He seems to know all the regulations inside out and does get results for us. I look at Bill and his business in the same way as I look at any other problem I have. If I have a leak in a roof I get a roofer, if I have a Housing Benefit problem I get Bill to deal with the Council, and the money usually comes direct to me, before it was going to the tenant. As a reputable landlord I’d have no hesitation in recommending HB Advice & Advocacy to anyone who is experiencing difficulty with the HB.

  • Alex Walker
  • West Lothian

Superb! Best seminar I’ve ever attended & there have been lots! Thank you!

  • Lynn Hunter

Due to the efforts of Bill Irvine I have now obtained full repayments back from Wycombe District Council (WDC). Further more the council (WDC) have had to cancel the full outstanding balance and also discontinue a CCJ the council had obtained on me. This was an extremely complicated issue that dated back from over 3 years ago and found that Bill Irvine handled this case with expertise, dedication and conviction.

  • Sarah Nelson

In just a week Bill achieved more than I or my tenant had in eight months of wrangling with the council. The tenant had been told that she didn’t qualify for HB because she had previously owned the house she now rents. Bill lifted all the stress of dealing with this from our shoulders and swiftly clarified the legal position surrounding this complex area to council staff. His knowledge of the benefit regulations and case law is second to none, and we were spared the delays and worry of appealing to a Tribunal. I cannot recommend Bill highly enough, both to private or social landlords.

  • Yvonne MacQuarrie

I came to HB Advocacy and Advice at a very late stage in my application for Housing Benefit which had taken some 18 months and become complex, from my first contact Mr Irvine was able to provide clear substantive advice for the way forward.  Mr Irvine provided representation at Tribunal which  resulted in a successful outcome. Without Mr Irvine’s knowledge and professional approach I know I would have lost my claim.

  • Howard McCabe
  • Perth

Bill Irvine is an essential contact for any Landlord with DSS Tenants. What he doesn’t know about Local Housing Allowance isn’t worth knowing! After months of battling with Durham C.C. over a backdated payment of £1500 for one of our tenants we consulted Bill. The Council backed down after a phone call from him and we secured our payment – all of which was agreed within a couple of days. What a result!

  • Wendy Martin
  • Menlove Estates Ltd.