South East Region gets Direct Payment Insight

Housing leaders engage with key aspects of welfare reform

Housing leaders from London and the South East gathered in Westminster last week for the latest Progress regional forum, hosted by CityWest Homes and sponsored by housing intelligence provider Mobysoft.

Progress South East, the first Progress – leadership in housing event of 2013, focused on the impending Single Direct Payment, featuring insight from one of the social landlords trialling the new housing benefit payment system.

Kevin Dodd, Chief Executive of Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) provided a ‘Snapshot of the Future’, reporting on his organisation’s 9-month experience on the Direct Payment Demonstration Project.

Kevin reported candidly on the impact of direct payment on rent arrears at WDH, which have increased from an average of 2% to 11% over the course of the pilot project.

Kevin’s presentation was followed by Darren Levy, Director of Customer Services at the host organisation - CityWest Homes, before delegates were separated for thought-provoking roundtable discussions.

David Innes-Edwards of Progress – leadership in housing said: “Considering the seismic changes on the horizon for social landlords, Progress events are proving to be of even greater value to housing leaders, which was reflected in today’s impressive turnout.

“It is extremely rewarding to see so many regional decision-makers engaging with fellow leaders, and stimulated by the subject matter.”

Darren Levy, Director of Customer Services at CityWest Homes said: “Sharing best practice is vital to ensure that residents and especially those more vulnerable are supported through the biggest changes to the benefits system in 60 years.”

The next Progress housing leadership forum takes place on Thursday 28th March, and will be hosted by Two Rivers Housing, at the Chase Hotel, Ross-on-Wye.

For more information on the award-winning Progress – leadership in housing, and for all future event listings, please visit www.housing-events.co.uk.