Etive hosted a Universal Credit conference at our Birmingham office on the 22nd January with guest speakers from DWP, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Social Housing Partnership.
Ian Smith and Stephen Whitehorn from DWP emphasised the importance of landlords getting to know their tenants and to review processes and systems to be prepared to collect the extra rent from their tenants who are in receipt of Universal Credit (UC) whilst continuing to manage the legacy systems. They also shared some of the learning from a north west based housing association and their UC pilot, stating they had to rethink how they operate as an organisation to be more agile and responsive to changes in order to adapt quickly.
Martin O’Neil, Head of Benefits at BCC, stated how important the Welfare Reform Multi Agency Committee has been in the preparation of UC implementation and reassured attendees that BCC will do everything possible to maintain the currently high standards of service. Guy Chaundy, who is heading up the UC implementation for BCC, highlighted the importance of having a clearly mapped out journey that works for the UC recipients to ensure they do not get lost in the system. Kofi Ackah, from Digital Birmingham, demonstrated the seamless customer journey to support unemployed people using ‘My Work Journey’ within the Digital Log Book to identify and the GBAS Service Directory Referral System to help remove barriers to work.
There were many other speakers contributors to the day, all the discussions, thoughts, fears, ideas and suggestions were captured and will be used at a follow up event to be announced. If you would like further information please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.