Housing association steps up interventions on direct payment project
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Landlord takes 'more interventions' on direct payment project
One of the housing associations involved in the Government's direct payment demonstration projects says it is stepping up interventions to ensure rent due is collected as it prepares to enter the third phase of the project.
Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) is one of six housing associations, who, along with their local authority partners are road testing the direct payment of housing benefit to tenants ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit next year.
Kevin Dodd (pictured), chief executive of 31,000-home WDH, said: “We are now into the second phase of the project, and at this point very few tenants taking part have not paid any rent as part of their responsibilities to their landlord, and some have made partial payment.
"As not all rent due has been collected, more interventions are being taken.
“We are now entering the third phase in the project, with another 200 tenants being introduced to the direct payments system. We will be reviewing the classification of vulnerability with the DWP to ensure that family welfare is protected and costs are reduced."
Around 1,800 of WDH's tenants will eventually be involved in the direct payment project.
Last month, another of the housing associations involved in the demonstration projects revealed that payment errors in the first two months of the project had seen tenants go overdrawn.
GreenSquare Group – an amalgamation of Oxford Citizens Housing Association and Westlea Housing - said housing benefit had been mistakenly paid into tenants' accounts by the council after the direct debits had been taken out for their rent.