Does debt advice pay? A business case for social landlords

The financial outlook for many social housing residents looks bleak. They are already more likely to be found in the poorest income groups and face a higher probability of developing money problems and being marginalised from fair, affordable financial services. However, weakening economic conditions, welfare benefit reforms and the squeeze on households incomes are expected to exacerbate the financial problems faced by these economically vulnerable households. The deteriorating financial outlook for residents will have a knock-on effect for social landlords, with rent arrears and the costs associated with rising numbers of court and eviction actions expected to grow. For that reason, with the support of the Friends Provident Foundation a consortium of the UK’s leading social landlords commissioned the Financial Inclusion centre to evaluate the effectiveness of providing debt advice to residents and to establish whether there is a business case for improving direct access to debt advice. (Financial Inclusion Research Centre, 2011)

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