Housing Group incentivises residents with Rewards Points

The change to the benefit system is becoming increasingly near, and we have discussed in the past few weeks how various social landlords, housing associations, and even private landlords have been preparing themselves for the changes. Many landlords have invested in landlord insurance to protect them, whilst others have started talking with their residents in order to understand what financial situation they are in now and what could happen in the future. One housing association has even come up with the novel idea of giving residents rewards points for paying their rent on time.

The Orbit Heart of England housing association provides 16,500 homes to families across the UK, and introduced the ProPoints scheme in 2010, which is now being used as an incentive to tenants so they prepare for the upcoming welfare reform changes. Lee Steele, head of operations at Orbit Heart of England said: “We have been astounded by the success of our welfare reform campaign.
ProPoints has enabled us to build a culture of responsibility amongst our customers, taking ownership not only of their rent payment but also making sure their benefits are paid on time.”

The new ProPoints campaign provides tenants with points if they start making plans as to how they will pay their housing benefits and rent to their landlords once the welfare reforms come in, and already over five hundred tenants have arranged direct debits to their landlords. Mr Steele said: “We have found that many are receptive to some very difficult messages that we have to deliver around welfare reform. We’ve built a solid platform which rewards our customers for positive behaviour, in line with the current thinking around the nudge theory.”

Points are rewarded to tenants not just for making sure that their rent is paid on time, but also for not deviating from other terms of their tenancy agreements. For instance, points are awarded if tenants do not get involved in anti-social behaviour, or if they make sure they keep the property well maintained. The points are eventually added up and converted into shopping vouchers that can be spent in over two thousand high street stores, meaning that both landlords and tenants benefit from the scheme.

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