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    Grŵp Cynefin, a housing association that operates across North Wales and North Powys, was formed from two well-respected historical housing associations in 2014. The association now owns and manages over 4,500 homes across several local authority areas. Following its formation, the association experienced high rent arrears, and eventually their team could no longer deal with the number of tenants falling into debt.

    Read on to discover how Grŵp Cynefin rapidly decreased their high rent arrears levels…

    The challenge

    Grŵp Cynefin have historically experienced high rent arrears, generally peaking in the lead up to December each year when households typically have less disposable income. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these debt issues, and in December 2020, Grŵp Cynefin experienced the highest rent arrears on record at 4.6% – with 2,094 tenants in gross arrears.

    During this time, Grŵp Cynefin had a generic housing team structure in place, where officers would focus on a wide variety of complex tasks, such as antisocial behaviour and lettings. As such, rent collection was usually low on their priority list. Given the growing rent arrears issue, there needed to be a change of approach.

    In March 2021, Grŵp Cynefin decided to restructure their team and onboard dedicated income collection specialists, creating a dedicated income team. But in order to prevent a spike in arrears that December, something bigger needed to happen…

    The solution

    The leadership at Grŵp Cynefin initially heard about the work our housing experts have been doing with ClwydAlyn Housing. The Voicescape Collections solution enables their residents to easily pay rent on time and reduce arrears. Upon seeing the results being gained Grŵp Cynefin Housing Manager, Rhiannon Dafydd, was keen to see more, and booked a meeting with our social housing experts. It was during this meeting that the housing association began to realise Voicescape’s massive potential.

    "We knew we needed a technological solution that would help to tackle growing arrears.”

    Rhiannon Dafydd | Housing Manager at Grŵp Cynefin

    How it works

    Voicescape Collections is an ethical and effective means of improving rent collection rates. It automates engagement with tenants who require contact, transforming ineffective and costly outbound calling activity into efficient inbound calls. This frees up time for income officers to have personalised, solution-focused, one-on-one conversations with tenants who have opted to speak about their rent arrears problem.

    Grŵp Cynefin were proud to be the first organisation in Wales to provide Voicescape service bilingually to their tenants.

    "Grŵp Cynefin has a strong focus on helping tenants to manage their finances through online resources and its benefits and budgeting calculator. We’re confident that our Collections solution and its bilingual service offering will be a positive extension to their approach to rental collections and will yield the right results by engaging tenants in their chosen language to offer maximum support.”

    Bill Williams | Chief Revenue Officer at Voicescape

    The results

    Grŵp Cynefin implemented Voicescape Collections in November 2021. As it’s something they were unfamiliar with, the team at Grŵp Cynefin was initially concerned about the use of technology in the workplace – but their worries didn’t last long. Today, they see the value of automated engagement.

    Since its implementation, Voicescape Collections has prevented the normal annual end-of-year hike in arrears. By July 2022, their arrears dropped to 2.22% – down from 4.6% in the previous year. This reduction in arrears has allowed their income collection team to work as efficiently as possible, focusing on those who require manual intervention.

    "We found Voicescape a good resource to have contact with tenants and make the best use of staff time and not continually trying to get hold of tenants. In using it, we’ve made agreements with tenants to clear their arrears and been successful in engaging with them.

    Team Leader at Grŵp Cynefin

    The feedback from their customers has also been nothing but positive, with individuals noting that the messages they receive are a useful reminder to pay their rent.

    "We're using the technology to be reactive to the needs of our customers."

    Rhiannon Dafydd | Housing Manager at Grŵp Cynefin

    Grŵp Cynefin is now also using Voicescape Collections for Universal Credit claims – a new method of paying rent for many customers.

    Want to trial Voicescape Collections?

    Book a demo today to see how our technology could help you overcome the numerous challenges that lie ahead for housing associations.

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    Want to see how Voicescape technology could help your housing association? Get in touch