Quids in: the impact of financial skills training for social housing tenantsAuthors: Sharon Collard, with Andrea Finney, David Hayes, Sara Davies
Funded by: Santander
Published by: Citizens Advice
Publication date: September 2012
Between June 2011 and March 2012, Bedworth, Rugby and Nuneaton CAB (BRANCAB) delivered short financial skills training sessions free-of-charge to tenants of Orbit Heart of England Housing Association (OHE) living in Rugby and Stratford.
Participation in the training was voluntary and it was not targeted specifically at tenants in rent arrears or at any particular group of tenants (such as lone parents). The aim of the training was to enable tenants to maximise their available income, help them access and use appropriate financial products and in turn avoid financial difficulties.
An independent evaluation was designed to demonstrate whether or not any benefits gained by tenant learners could be attributed to the training. This was achieved by carrying out before-and-after surveys with both tenant learners and a comparison group of tenants who lived in areas where the training was not available. These surveys showed that those who took part were more likely to improve their financial skills, gain financial confidence and access appropriate financial products.
71 per cent of tenant learners reported being far more financially confident as a result of the training, compared to just 13 per cent of the comparison group. Other positive financial changes reported by the vast majority of tenant learners, included:
- 78 per cent changing how they managed their money since the training, compared with only 36 per cent of the comparison group;
- Tenant learners who changed how they managed their money as a result of the training were, on average, £10 per week better off as a result;
- Tenant learners who changed their saving behaviour saved, on average, an extra £11 per week;
- 13 per cent had either opened or switched bank account, or opened a credit union account, compared with three per cent of the comparison group;
- 18 per cent planned to open a credit union account, while none of the comparison group had any such plans.
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