For many residents, paying rent every month can be a challenge. In some months, there are more bills to pay - in August, for example, you might have increase childcare costs or new school uniforms to buy.
rent-flex puts residents in control of their rent payments. It enables them to agree a rent payment schedule with their landlord so they can underpay in months when money is tight and overpay when they have more money in the bank.
Our White Paper identified four key benefits of rent-flex:
- Improved engagement: residents were more likely to engage with rent-flex than with existing financial or budgeting support services.
- Increased financial benefits to residents: residents were engaged with budgeting support and income maximisation services resutled in £70,000 in benefits to 42 residents.
- Improved rent payment: residents who completed twelve months of rent-flex in the manual pilot paid 98.4% of their contractual rent, compared to 90% of the control group.
- Improved relationships and satisfaction: overall, rent-flex boosted resident satisfaction levels with the organisation.
rent-flex has been tested in a manual proof of concept pilot with Optivo. A new digital rent-flex platform has now been developed and is being piloted with Optivo. The platform enables residents to easily change their rent payment proposals over the course of the year to reflect any changed circumstances. It will also support Income Officers when assessing proposals and referring residents to tenancy sustainment services.
The rent-flex platform will shortly be available to other housing associations, ALMOs and local authorities for testing.
We are inviting expressions of interest in developing further pilots.
Some of the questions we've been asked over the last two months are answered here. If you have any that aren't included please feel free to contact Matthew Grenier.