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Posted 24 May 2021

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Struggling to pay rent? Here's why you should let us know

 

Over the last two years we have been dedicated to cutting overall rent arrears amongst our 10,000 tenants, by taking steps to support those struggling, and assisting people into advance positions with rent accounts.

We have helped people to overcome causes of debt, and worked with partners to ensure that tenants get the help, advice and any intervention they need.

So far this approach has been overwhelmingly successful, with rent arrears halving since 2018 and currently standing at around 600k. This, at a time when many landlords have experienced a doubling or even tripling of arrears, is a huge achievement.

We have also achieved the lowest Universal Credit debt in the whole of the housing sector, which for the size of our housing stock and makeup of tenants, is almost unheard of. 

For this we'd like to say a huge thank you to our tenants. Your patience, understanding and resilience has made this possible, and your accepting of help in times of need. 

Matt Kelly, Income Manager at Ongo has been involved in leading this work. He commented: “Our stance is always to support tenants and be as understanding as possible before we take action. So the best part is that this was all achieved without having to carry out a single income related eviction over the last year.

“We have a fantastic team who are responsible for these results and it’s down to them that so many of our tenants that may have been sat at home worrying, now know there’s someone at the end of the phone who can help.

“Our performance is being noticed across the board which is fantastic and I could not be prouder of what we have achieved for both our tenants and colleagues.”

We have been approached by housing providers across the country to share best practice, along being invited to speak at national conferences hosted by leading organisations. These include Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Housing Quality Network (HQN).

Steve Hepworth, Chief Executive said: “Behind this trend of reducing rent arrears are so many stories of local people and families, trying their best. So it makes me incredibly proud to know they have received the support they needed to get on top of their finances.

“Watching the team share their knowledge with others in the housing sector is fantastic, and as an organisation we are delighted to see the difference they make every day.

“Of course thanks must also be given to our incredible and resilient tenants and customers, who despite the last year, have worked alongside us to achieve this target. We hope to see this trend continue for many years to come.”

To find out more about us, follow our social media pages, or take a look round our website.

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