Improve financial resilience with the NPS Poverty Reduction Service
By identifying those in hardship and proactively engaging citizens to maximise their income, the NPS Poverty Reduction Service reduces the financial vulnerability of citizens.
Citizen focused positive intervention
Evidenced in our pilot service with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, we work with councils to identify and prioritise a vulnerable cohort. Following identification, NPS will proactively engage with citizens to offer help applying for financial assistance they are entitled to but might not be aware of.
If eligible and not already claiming, we submit applications on behalf of the citizen for Council Tax Reduction, Discretionary Housing Payments and WaterSure/Help. If we are unable to complete an application on their behalf, we signpost citizens to funding that will improve their financial resilience.
We monitor the financial outcomes for the citizens we help, allowing us and the council to see the positive impact of the service.
In a three month pilot with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets we were able to generate tens of thousands of pounds additional annual income across the households we helped.
A real return on investment for the local authority
While the service ultimately aims to improve the financial situation of citizens, in doing so the financial situation of local authorities also gets better. The repayment of Council debts becomes more sustainable, reducing the cost of recovery action and the amount of debt that is written off. Individuals who are more financially resilient are also less likely to face homelessness or require temporary accommodation.
By breaking the cycle of hardship, citizens are less dependent on council-funded emergency grants. Instead, they claim money they are entitled to through central government funding and/or water help schemes.
What's more, positive intervention for citizens who have debt can result in a reduction in the need for other council services such as adult social care - as people with debt are significantly more likely to experience mental health problems. Citizens who are unburdened by debt are more likely to increase revenue in the local area and boost the economy.
Key findings from our pilot with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets:
In our pilot with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, we initially signposted individuals to funding. We found that 8% of people made successful applications, but the vast majority refused to apply or did not take further action. To improve the effectiveness of the pilot, we focused on proactively assisting applications and saw the success rate rising to 32% and the outcomes known in 100% of cases.
Experience demonstrated that assisted intervention was the most effective way to help those citizens most in need.
~85% of citizens in the vulnerable category have not applied for a benefit they are entitled to
We have evidence that practical help makes the difference: 100% of outcomes are known for those who are directly helped
The success rate of applications jumps from 8% to 32% when managed by NPS rather than the citizen
Those assisted to claim WaterHelp saw a 50% reduction in their bills from Thames Water
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