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Natural & Managed Migration - Impact on both tenants and your organisation!

Hi,

Recent DWP stats show 2.3 million people are now claiming Universal Credit. Full Service rollout continues, adding £130,000 new awards each month. The Managed Migration pilot started in July in Harrogate. Other areas, yet to be announced, should be added in the next few months.

Housing, Income Management, & Welfare Rights staff have been assisting tenants meet the many challenges posed by Universal Credit and can recognise the new scheme is very different to the Housing Benefit and the LHA schemes it replaces. Whilst in some cases it can be more generous, mostly, it’s very more complex, punitive and problematic, partly because DWP’s administration is at arms-length, often remote and ambivalent. This already, has led to hikes in RSL rent arrears of between 2 to 6 times previous levels, despite invoking early intervention and robust rent arrears management techniques. In contrast, some associations have managed to limit their losses to 10-20%.

The under-noted  course has been specifically tailored for Social Landlord staff. It’s designed to examine how Natural & Managed Migration, over the next 3 years, will significantly increase the numbers of tenants transitioning to Universal Credit and the likely effect this will have on your tenants, your organisation’s collection arrangements, rental income and rent arrears management. It can be delivered in-house for just you and/or in collaboration with your neighbouring councils/associations.

Programme

  • When, where and how, Full Service will be introduced;
  • What’s a Migration Notice and how does it affect both legacy and UC claims;
  • When & how tenants will be expected to claim and how you can greatly assist in that process;
  • How claims will be assessed, with various examples of the calculation methodology
  • How & when it will be paid, including the importance of Benefit Assessment Periods (BAPs)
  • What about backdating; changes in circumstances; the “whole month rule”; complexities relating to couples splitting or combining households; penalties for late reporting?
  • Landlord Managed Payments – How to apply for these via Landlord Portal; challenge suspensions of the “housing element” and pursue rent arrears via “third party deductions”?
  • How the “payment exceptions” provisions can be used to have payments redirected to spouses/partners/appointees to ensure public funds are protected;
  • Conditionality and sanctions – how this is likely to have a considerable impact on your tenant’s willingness to cooperate with APAs, payments and rent arrears recovery arrangements.
  • Impact of UC overpayments and how this differs from Housing Benefit
  • How to complain, on behalf of your tenants and the organisation, when things go wrong; seek compensation, refer to the “Independent Examiner” and Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
  • How to make a Mandatory Reconsideration and appeal on behalf of your tenants.

Throughout the day we will encourage delegate participation. We use practical exercises and case studies, drawn from real situations, arising from the experience of HA landlords in different parts of the GB to highlight the main features of the scheme and where things are likely to go wrong. There will be plenty of time for discussion of issues and concerns. Ultimately, the tutor will aim to ensure delegates are well informed on how to maximise tenant entitlement and reduce the potential for rental income loss.

Who should attend?

Any member of staff involved in housing management, finance, providing advice & support to tenants and those responsible for collecting arrears and complying with Pre-action protocols/requirements.

Tutor

Bill Irvine was Head of Benefits, Revenues & Advice Services at one of the UK’s largest councils; acted as local government advisor to the Housing Benefit Standing Committee, Westminster; operated as a welfare rights advocate; tutored on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Housing in relation to Housing Benefit, Council Tax & Rent Arrears management. He currently operates UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd acting as representative of tenants, Private Landlords and Housing Associations in their respective HB/LHA/UC negotiations with DWP/councils and, rather uniquely, represents them in disputes before First and Upper-tier tribunals. He also writes regular articles on UC/LHA related topics and responds to Landlord’s queries and complaints via various web-based forums, including his own website.
Bill was one of the principal witnesses at the DWP Select Committee, Westminster hearings, relating to Local Housing Allowance in January 2010, where some of his recommendations were adopted as “Good practice” in subsequently produced DWP Guidance.