Futures launches new debt-busting tool to help new customers

An award-winning housing association is helping prospective customers ditch their debt before they take on tenancies.

Futures Housing Group’s has launched the Affordability Calculator, an online tool designed to help people manage their money and reduce the risk of falling into debt.

It is aimed at people who submit applications to live in one of Futures Housing Group’s 9,800 homes throughout the East Midlands.

Lizzie Spencer, the Group’s arrears prevention lead, said: “We’re really pleased to launch the Affordability Calculator. It means we can work with people before they become customers to make sure they can afford to pay their rent.

“Like many housing associations, we have situations where people fall behind with rent payments and can end up being evicted. “By supporting people with money advice before they start their tenancy, we believe we can prevent that from happening.”

The calculator takes users through a number of steps, asks for income and outgoings and calculates if they can afford a property or not. The tool will highlight when people are spending more than their income and will refer them to our award-winning money advice team which works with people to ensure they are getting the benefits they are entitled to and help them with budget advice.

The housing provider’s money advice team helped customers make savings or access benefits to the tune of nearly £2m in 2018. The tool will be available to people who apply for a home with Futures through Home Choices.

If the calculator indicates a property in unaffordable, the potential customer will be referred to the money advice team. They will check for errors and support the applicant with advice, help identify additional benefits or other exemptions to help them save money and make the property affordable. If the home is still unaffordable, Futures will support the applicant to find a more suitable, affordable option and provide further advice on how to save money or generate more income.

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