Hexagon Housing Association has invested in Mobysoft’s predictive technology to help mitigate the effects of on-going welfare reform.
Hexagon, a member of the L8 peer group which is made up of eight London Housing Associations, has regularly appeared in London’s top quartile for arrears performance. However, against a back drop of substantial change within the sector, their arrears performance, which had been reducing for many years, has become static.
“It has become much harder to maintain performance,”commented Tom Harding, Housing Services Manager at Hexagon. “Over the past few years the general economic situation has meant more tenants are finding it harder to prioritise rent payments.”
However, Government Policy has also had a major impact on both tenants and social landlords.
“A variety of policies have made it more challenging to maintain performance. More tenants now receive partial Housing Benefit and the bedroom tax also put people into rent payment for the first time,”
What’s more in the face of the 1% rent reduction many landlords are now looking to deliver efficiencies and that means re-evaluating systems and processes.
“The drive for efficiency meant staff were being expected to do more. We were finding that increasingly our methods of arrears control were not keeping up with all these changes,” Harding explains. “This meant we had to look for new ways to reduce arrears, and that is why we chose Mobysoft.”
Hexagon decided to help mitigate the on-going effects of welfare reform by investing in Mobysoft’s RentSense solution. The application is comprised of a series of complex algorithms that profile tenants, and then accurately predict behaviour patterns.
“Whilst RentSense is clearly a very technical and complex product, the result for the end user is very simple and straight forward. It gives officers a clear list of cases that need attention, in priority groups. It also makes it easier for our Senior Officers to monitor performance and allocate resources where they are needed most,”
Hexagon expects RentSense to free up their staff’s time so they can focus their energies on the cases that actually need attention and also enables them to offer their tenants the appropriate support at the right time.
“The additional workload of welfare reform, which Hexagon has highlighted, is only going to increase once Universal Credit is fully deployed,”
commented Derek Steele, Mobysoft’s CEO.
“At Mobysoft we are finding more landlords are preparing for Universal Credit by changing their processes and investing in systems like RentSense that help deliver key efficiency savings.”