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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

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Financial inclusion

Financially vulnerable tenants

Are you identifying financially vulnerable tenants as early as you could be?

The overall benefit cap, bedroom tax and removal of direct payments to landlords have led to more tenants falling in to, or in danger of accruing, rent arrears. As frontline employees experience a rise in engagement with customers experiencing financial difficulties and mental health issues, our approach not only introduces innovative ways to identify vulnerable tenants earlier and support them towards sustained financial capability, but also improves the ability of staff to build rapport and communicate more effectively when faced with issues such as challenging behaviour.

  • 41% of housing officers are seeing many more tenants in financial difficulty
  • 57% also said they had experienced threats of suicide from tenants

(Evidence from independent research carried out by Straightforward.)

In addition to increased rent arrears threatening credit ratings and subsequent long-term sustainability, indirect outcomes such as disengaged staff, rises in sickness absence and staff turnover have also resulted in increased strain on housing providers’ revenue.

How can we help you?

We will explore methods of communication, self-awareness and self-maintenance in the development of a person-centred support approach to:

  • Help staff to be stronger, more resilient and versatile in their approach
  • Quickly develop rapport to achieve maximum responsiveness so that individuals are willing to move forward in a sustainable and self-motivating way
  • Quickly diagnose and understand customers’ underlying (and often undisclosed) barriers
  • Understand the psychology of social disadvantage and tackle learned helplessness


  • Increased employee engagement, motivation and job satisfaction
  • Reduced staff turnover/absenteeism
  • Increased staff accountability leading to enhanced quality of customer service
  • More sustainable support and customer service levels
  • Ability to create more significant and sustainable outcomes for service users
  • Renewed clarity and enthusiasm to achieve the organisation's vision

Social returns

  • Predicted social returns for tenants following engagement:
  • Change in employment status, level of skills/qualifications/employability
  • Improved financial capability
  • Having a stable home/tenancy
  • Improved confidence, self esteem and reduced feelings of loneliness/isolation
  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Overcoming the impact of disability
  • Avoiding offending/re-offending

Contact us

For more information or to discuss being involved in future projects contact Deborah Good, director of housing services on 07506 851917 or email


Contact Deborah

Deborah Good is our director of housing services

 0750 685 1917


Our latest charter

The income management charter is a flexible framework unique to CIH that helps organisations to challenge their income management services and identify the outcomes a good quality service can deliver.

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