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In this issue

  • Make a change for good. Work with us
  • Housing the next focus for the Living Standards Index for London
  • Zoe speaks at NAWRA welfare rights conference in Greenwich
  • Policy in Practice at CIH Housing 2019
  • National Housing Federation members talk Universal Credit in Bath
  • MJ Awards 2019: Congratulations to Croydon Council
  • Join our July steering groups (with networking)
  • Join our Curo Housing webinar, upcoming webinars, events and speaking engagements
  • Free download: revised Universal Credit roadmap
Make a change for good. Work with us
We’re recruiting for exciting roles for those ready to make a positive difference. If you know a great developer, account manager or analyst, please encourage them to please encourage them to check out our vacancies.
Housing the next focus for the Living Standards Index
Following the launch of Policy in Practice’s publicly available Living Standards Index in April, our analytics and development team is now planning to release an updated Index with a focus on affordable housing.

Complete with new graphical overlays, the enhanced Living Standards Index will allow local authorities, researchers and policy groups to see the differing degrees of housing affordability across the capital and across private, social and council housing. By knowing more about the shape and geography of the housing challenge, organisations will be even more effective in arguing for solutions.

If you haven’t yet, explore the borough-by-borough, ward-by-ward interactive Index now.

If the Living Standards Index sounds useful to your organisation, or you’d like to be part of our next steering group, please get in touch.
Zoe speaks at NAWRA welfare rights conference in Greenwich
In early June our Head of Policy, Zoe Charlesworth, spoke at the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisors (NAWRA) conference in Greenwich. How data can be used to understand poverty and inequality, and how this data can feed into frontline support, were the themes of Zoe's presentation.

Zoe also showed how self-employed households can be identified, how people most at risk of application of the minimum income floor could be targeted, and how households can be better supported with information about their unique financial circumstances.  A case study of how the Royal Borough of Greenwich identifies need and targets support to people using our LIFT dashboard and Benefits and Budgeting Calculator was shared. Using data in this way gives the Greenwich Welfare Support team the ability to offer pro-active help to people and lets the council make decisions based on evidence-based trends and forecasts.
Policy in Practice at CIH Housing 2019
We made our CIH Housing conference debut this year in Manchester, with Policy Consultant Paul Howarth joining a panel to talk about Universal Credit and the implications for housing providers. Paul spoke on the second day of the conference; you can read more about the work he mentioned below:

Homelessness Hackathon

Jade Alsop, Commercial Director at Policy in Practice, joined the FutureGov Homelessness Hackathon on the opening day. The idea from her table was a flagging system using data to identify young people at risk of homelessness. The competition was tough and this idea lost out to two very worthy alternatives, namely virtual addresses for people who are homeless and an 'It could be me'  awareness campaign highlighting how easy it is to end up homeless.

View all 17 Homelessness Hackathon ideas


Thank you to those who entered our stand competition to win an Amazon Fire Tablet. Congratulations to Julie Jackson, South Lakeland District Council who was the winner of the prize draw. Well done!

National Housing Federation members talk Universal Credit in Bath
Zoe Charlesworth, Head of Policy, was invited to present to the National Housing Federation’s Southwest meeting in June to discuss migration to Universal Credit and its implications for providers. Zoe, together with Policy and Operations Intern, Sam Tims, talked about the work our client, The Guinness Group, is doing to plan for their clients moving to Universal Credit, during both natural and managed migration.

With the UC rollout continuing providers are keen to learn from each other about the changes UC brings. One aspect that housing association representatives raised was whether clients should take the DWP’s advance, and therefore receive lower monthly income for a while, in order to cover the five-week wait. The discussion revealed no common view, though providers need tools to support clients with different circumstances in order to provide the right advice and avoid arrears.

MJ Awards 2019: Congratulations to Croydon Council
Croydon Council has adopted an early intervention and prevention approach to helping families affected by welfare reforms. Called Gateway, the award winning programme uses tools, including a LIFT Dashboard developed by Policy in Practice, to help it identify households at risk and target tailored support to people before they reach crisis point. The approach sees the council using its own data to proactively tackle poverty and prevent homelessness.

We're thrilled that the Gateway Team won a prestigious MJ Award in the delivering better outcomes category this month. Ahead of the awards ceremony Julia Pitt, Director of Gateway Services, joined our June webinar to talk about the programme, the results it’s achieved so far and the impact it’s having on Croydon’s residents.

Join our July steering groups (with networking)
LIFT Dashboard steering group
Hosted by Policy in Practice at Millbank Tower, Westminster
Thursday 25 July, 10:30 to 13:30, networking lunch after

Join us to meet fellow LIFT Dashboard customers. Compare notes about how you’re using the product, get new ideas to take back to the office, hear the challenges others have resolved, ask your peers for advice and provide feedback to us.

Read about what happened at our last LIFT steering group
Benefit and Budgeting Calculator steering group
Hosted by Policy in Practice at Millbank Tower, Westminster
Thursday 25 July, 15:00 to 17:30, networking drinks after

Join us to meet fellow Benefit and Budgeting Calculator customers, as well as our development team. Learn best practices from other Calculator users, help us prioritise new functionality and features for 2019 and steer the Calculator’s development roadmap.

Read about what happened at our last BBC steering group
Upcoming webinars, events and speaking engagements
Webinar: How Curo triages support to help customers onto Universal Credit
Tuesday 9 July at 15:00 - 16:00
Details and register

As one of the first areas to go full-service with Universal Credit, Curo adopted a triage approach to helping their most at-risk customers first. This outward-facing strategy means they spend 80% of their time with 20% of their customers.

In this webinar we look at Curo’s story with Emma Owens, Head of Customer Accounts, and hear how this housing provider uses Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to help manage this process and effectively maximise staff time. The tool’s self-serve feature encourages customers who need less help to begin the process independently, allowing staff to focus on those customers who need more support.

Join this webinar to hear:

  • what being a Universal Credit early adopter meant
  • how Curo overcame customer’s poor perceptions of Universal Credit
  • why offering a self-serve option to customers has been good for customers, staff and Curo itself

Can't make the date? Register anyway to automatically receive the slides and recording.  
Employment and Skills Convention 2019
Wednesday 10 July
Learning and Work Institute, central London. We’re supporting the convention again this year, please visit us on Stand 5. Deven Ghelani and Marise Mackie, Seetec Pluss, will also be speaking about Universal Credit, work and health: practical experiences from the front line.
Free download: revised Universal Credit roadmap

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