Councils urged to train tenants in financial management

A unique social housing survey has found landlords can helps tenants save around £40 per month by offering one-to-one financial skills training.

Analysis of the training involving 150 tenants over nine-months and launched today by national charity Citizens Advice found 71% of tenant learners reported higher financial confidence – compared with just 13% of a comparison group.

Other positive results of the project, ‘Quids in: The impact of financial skills training for social housing tenants’ include nearly four fifths (78%) of those given training improved their money management skills.

On average those given the training – of whom 70% were women, two thirds lived in households where there was no earned income and more than half of which (52%) enjoyed weekly household income of less than £200 – were better off to the tune of £11 a week.

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice said: ‘We hope that these results, and the best practice that came out of the project delivery, will encourage housing providers to work together in partnership with the Citizens Advice service nationally and locally. This will be particularly beneficial to tenants at a time when tenant finances are coming under increasing pressure with welfare reforms and the economic downturn.’

Jaime Graham, director at bank Santander, which funded the project said: ‘We believe that the government, financial services sector and financial education charities need to work together to ensure that everyone, and in particular people living on low incomes, can access the financial services and products that they need, as well as information to help them understand the basics of money management.’