As low-income households face an unprecedented cost of living crisis, how can social housing providers balance successful income collection with the flexibility, understanding and support required by those struggling to pay? Find out at our special two-day virtual event.

Soaring energy prices, rising inflation and an increase in national insurance are just a few of the issues threatening UK households with a perfect storm of financial pressures.

When you throw in low wage growth, higher basic food costs and a 4.1% rise in rents, it is easy to see why our residents face what the Resolution Foundation has called a ‘living standards catastrophe’.

The cost-of-living crisis presents a real challenge to income teams across the UK. On one hand, it’s vital that rent collection rates don’t fall off a cliff at a time when organisations face significant financial challenges. On the other, it’s vital that residents are offered as much assistance as possible to weather the storm, cover their household costs and sustain their tenancies.

Fortunately, help is at hand. For this special two-day event, we’ll focus on practical solutions to some of these challenges and hear from those working on the frontline to support households.

We’ll also hear how the payments industry is rising to the financial inclusion challenge by improving the range of products and services available to low-income households and the unbanked to support better budgeting, flexible payments, and greater choice.

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    Day one – A new income collection culture – how to balance successful collection with flexibility, understanding and support

    Restrictions on possession during the pandemic and a focus on the wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents has led to many housing providers re-evaluating income collection services.

    There has been a movement away from traditional escalation approaches. Decisions are based around open conversations and engagement rather than focused on the balance sheet.

    Hear from housing practitioners that are putting new ways into practice and not only seeing a difference in tenant wellbeing and staff satisfaction but are successfully reducing arrears.

    Find out what other opportunities there are for engaging with services that can help your tenants who are facing financial difficulties.

    What will we cover?

    • An overview of the cost-of-living crisis
    • The ingredients for a successful, measurable financial inclusion service
    • What support should landlords provide and where do we draw a line?
    • Hardship funds
    • Debt advice
    • Food banks
    • Furniture initiatives
    • Support back into work
    • Tackling fuel poverty and utility debt.

    Day two – The future of payments – how fintech can support social landlords to maximise income and promote financial inclusion

    With the rapid pace of change in the UK’s banking and finance sectors, it’s important to stay on top of the latest payment trends and their implications for both your residents and your own income streams.

    With e-banking, budgeting apps, online payments, and open banking now an integral part of the UK payments landscape, there has never been more choice or flexibility in the way people pay.

    The social housing sector, however, remains cautious of change and continues to steer residents towards payment channels that best suit the landlord. But the latest research shows cash payments are in rapid decline and direct debits are not popular among millennials and hardly used at all by Gen Z.

    As payment technology continues to evolve, housing providers need to ensure they continue to meet the high standards of safety, trust and resilience demanded by residents and build their confidence across a range of channels.

    On day two of our event, we’ll be exploring how housing providers are using new payment methods to improve the customer experience and better support financial inclusion, while at the same time delivering efficiency savings, protecting income, reducing arrears, and meeting ongoing regulation changes around privacy and data security.

    In difficult times, and with the prospect of rapidly rising arrears, we need to make it as easy as possible for residents to pay their rent.

    What will we cover?

    • The future of payments – the latest technology and what’s coming next
    • How the fintech is supporting financial inclusion
    • Open banking and what it means for the landlord-resident relationship
    • Payment technology gateways – the essentials for housing providers
    • The changing payment habits of UK households – understanding the millennial mindset
    • Improving payment relationships with unbanked and under-served residents.

    Essential for:

    • Income collection managers and teams
    • Financial inclusion, sustainability and welfare support teams
    • Housing management teams
    • Community investment teams
    • Business transformation teams.

    What you will take away from the event:

    • HQN Financial Inclusion toolkit
    • Examples of best practice
    • An awareness of other resources available to you.

    Speakers to be announced shortly.

  • Price and booking


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    * Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.

    Bookings are closed for this event.

    If you experience any issues when submitting your booking, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the session along with the delegate name(s), email address(es) and job title(s) and we’ll process the booking for you.

  • Cancellations and substitutions

    If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected]

    Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

    If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

    Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.