Our aim at Housing Solutions is to have happy customers and one of the most important ways we do this is by enabling our residents to sustain their tenancies.  Life is fully of challenges and one of the last things we want our customers to have to worry about is where they will live, should their financial circumstances change.  To handle change, we have a proactive and confidential Welfare and Benefit Team on hand to support our customers.  They will handle any query, concern or worry about your benefits

One of the biggest changes we have seen within welfare recently is the Universal Credit (UC) system.  As this is a brand-new benefit this change has brought a unique set of challenges to some of our tenants as well as Housing Officers who support and advise our customers. 

Everything is brand new

Through years of hands on experience our Teams have an in depth knowledge of the many featured benefit system.  Benefits are complicated and intricate, but our knowledge runs deep.  However, with Universal Credit we simply don’t have that history.  That’s why  Housing Solutions have put in the man hours to get under the skin of this new benefit system.  Over the past year, we have been working in close partnership with the Department of Welfare and Pensions (DWP) to create a streamlined process for our customers, who will be moving to UC.   Partner collaboration has enabled both organisations to highlight different issues as they arose and by pooling knowledge, offer solutions to ensure that our customers receive tried and tested support. 

We have designed a step by step guide on how to apply for UC online under the full service, which can be found here https://www.housingsolutions.co.uk/supporting-you/benefit-support/universal-credit/ As well as simple to follow advice on how to complete the housing costs element of the UC application.  This knowledge has specifically prevented delays in customer’s UC payment being made.  After all delays in benefits can cause genuine worry and stress.

Sharing our knowledge

Everyone is facing the same challenges with UC, so it makes sense to work together where we can.  We have provided in-house training on the UC online process for front line staff, which means that should anyone within the Housing Solutions team come across customers who have questions they are not met with blank stares or confused looks, rather they are well .  They are informed and ready to guide our customers.  A welcome response when you have to apply for something new!  

At the moment Universal Credit is an unknown quantity but, by investing in our residents with tenancy support and giving the time to understand UC, we have been able to offer a high level of service delivery and help our customers navigate a new set of benefits successfully.

Amanda Stockhill

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