Kathy was a long term Hexagon resident who had long struggled with her tenancy. Following a recent change of circumstances, Kathy had not properly informed the Council of the change. As a result, her Housing Benefit stopped, causing her already significant rent arrears to spiral out of control. Her poor health meant that she was not able to respond to requests for information, resulting in the arrears putting her tenancy at risk. This in turn led to her and her five children being at risk of homelessness.
Despite strenuous efforts, the financial inclusion team was unable to secure sustained engagement from Kathy in order to resolve the issue. However, they were able to establish contact with the resident’s family support worker. This link enabled the team to get confirmation of the information required to challenge the decision to close Kathy’s claim.
The family support worker then assisted Kathy in compiling the required information, and made sure that this was provided to the financial inclusion team. The team then challenged the decision on the resident’s behalf. This resulted in the decision being revised in Kathy’s favour, and a substantial lump sum being paid by Housing Benefit.
The lump sum payment cut the arrears by more than half, and left Kathy in a better position to manage her remaining arrears going forward.
Jason Herbert AIMA (Cert)
Senior Financial Inclusion Adviser
Hexagon Housing Association
Tel : 0208 768 7925
Email : Jherbert@Hexagon.org.uk