Receiving your Housing Benefit payments directly
Building Communities and Changing lives for the better are really important values for Raven. One of the ways we can do this is to support all residents to be financially stronger. We know that all the changes to the benefits system are difficult and for many, causing money worries. We are here to provide as much support as we can through the changes. If you are worried about changes to your benefits, please call customer services on 0300 123 3399 and we can refer you to our Moneywise advice team.
Raven’s income comes from the rent and service charges paid by residents and without this, we can not provide services such as repairs, improvements and new homes. For the majority of our residents, their rent has already reduced by 1% this year and will reduce again by 1% each year for the next 3 years. This is great news for you and will help you to make the most of your money, it also adds to the importance of collecting all the rent and other charges owed to be able to continue to provide services.
During the summer we worked with a small group of residents to receive housing benefit payments directly to their bank accounts, rather than having housing benefit being paid directly to us. This was really successful. Residents gained greater control of their money and found it much easier to work out how much rent they needed to pay. Feedback was really positive and we are now planning to roll this out to everyone else.
Why is Raven encouraging this?
- You will be really clear about what you need to pay for your rent and when, to avoid getting into debt.
- Over the year you only have to remember to pay your total rent each week or month rather than working out the difference each time your housing benefit payments change.
- Housing benefit payments can change depending on your circumstances. If your working hours change weekly, or your family circumstances change, this will change how much you receive and can make it difficult to work out what you need to pay us.
- If we receive your housing benefit direct, payment is usually 4 weeks in arrears, so by the time we receive your housing benefit, you might already be behind with your rent payments and not realise it can be difficult for Raven to confirm what you should pay as we don’t know if there have been any changes to your benefit until we receive the payment 4 weeks later.
- You can budget and prioritise effectively to pay for all your expenses weekly or monthly and manage your household income.
- Other organisations such as your Local Authority, the Department of Work & Pensions or Job Centre don’t have to tell us what you are entitled to receive so we do NOT know how much you receive in benefits, (apart from housing benefit paid directly to us).
- Keeping up with your rent will improve your credit rating, which can have a massive impact on how much it costs you to buy goods or take out a loan or mortgage in future.
- We take our responsibility as a landlord seriously and want to work with you to prevent arrears. This is another way to give you control over your money so you can plan.
- Legal enforcement action is costly to us and you. Typically each time we have to take someone to court they have to pay the court fees which currently are £325.00. This is on top of any rent arrears that still need to be paid.
We recognise some residents may never be claiming benefits. However, receiving direct payments will help those of you who do be clear about what you need to pay us and to know what you have left for other expenditure.
If you are interested in signing up for direct payments, please call 0300 123 3399 and ask to speak to a member of the Income team. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our simple online form below and we'll be in touch soon!