Published: 19th Jun 2013

As changes to the benefits system begin to take effect, the issue of how to tackle financial exclusion comes to the forefront of our minds. One key element of the changes is the introduction of direct payment of housing benefit to social housing tenants rather than landlords. There’s no doubt that direct payment has created concern as housing associations meet the task of helping their customers to pay rent on time but we can view this as an opportunity to tackle financial exclusion. A significant proportion of tenants do not have a bank account and therefore have limited options by which to pay their rent. According to a report published last year by the National Housing Federation and consultancy Policis, some 14% only have a Post Office Card Account (without a direct debit facility) and 5% have no account at all. Financial inclusion is an area that many housing associations … (To read the full article, subscribe below)