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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights first accredited financial capability training course

Housing Rights is delighted to be running its first accredited training course on Financial Capability. Increasing financial capability to safeguard homes will help you to empower your clients to manage their own budget and keep their home. 

This 1 day OCN accredited course on 23 February 2017,  looks at what financial capability means and the causes of debt in Northern Ireland. We will highlight the issue of “can’t pay versus won’t pay” and look at potential vulnerabilities people may have and how this could impact on their financial capability. The course also looks at what are priority and non priority debts, how to prepare a financial statements and how to devise a sustainable repayment plan.

What is financial capability?

Financial capability is a person’s ability to manage their money well - both day to day and through life events (such as redundancy, bereavement and divorce) that might upset someone's financial stability.

The 2015 Financial Capability Survey showed that four in ten adults were not in control of their finances, one in five cannot read a bank statement and four in ten have less than £500 in savings.

These figures indicate a “spend today, rather than save for tomorrow” culture across the UK population. Low levels of financial capability mean that millions of people across the nation lack the financial resilience to deal with unexpected financial shocks and life events and are therefore at risk of falling into uncontrollable levels of debt or suffering from other financial difficulties.

The Behavioural Insights Team released a report in May 2015 with recommendations on getting those in debt to engage earlier. They defined financial capability as;

“Financial literacy refers to a range of capabilities including planning ahead, an awareness of one’s financial situation, choosing financial products wisely, managing money and getting help and advice” Behavioural Insights Team May 2015

Why is financial capability important?

The debt advice charity StepChange said it had seen a 56% leap in the number of people seeking help with serious debt problems between 2012 and 2014, and that the average unsecured debt among those approaching it was now £15,000.

Recent figures from Citizen Advice suggest that almost 250,000 people in Northern Ireland are facing a debt time bomb.

With the impact of welfare reform yet to be fully realised in Northern Ireland, we expect even more people to fall deeper into debt and struggle to pay for their home.

How can Housing Rights help with financial capability?

As well as the Housing Rights scheduled course on the 23rd February, we can also deliver more specific training that assists your front line workers to help others become more financially capable. We have delivered financial capability training to Lenders, NIHE, Housing Associations including both staff and tenants and Prison Officers, who have identified that they have a role to play, and gains to be made, in promoting financial capability to their clients.

Recent feedback from the NIHE shows the value to staff attending the training;

“If the feedback is anything to go by I would say that staff fully enjoyed the training and we are confident that our customers will benefit from it.   It has been a delight working with you and the team from Housing Rights over the weeks, the expertise in delivering the course has made it a very worthwhile experience for NIHE staff.” NIHE

If you are interested in discussing training needs specific to your organisation, please contact our training team on training@housingrights.org.uk.

If you are struggling to pay for your home, contact our helpline on 028 90 245640.

Tagged In

Social Tenancies, Practical tips, Welfare Reform

This article was written on 20 December 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.