SOLIHULL Council and Solihull Community Housing (SCH) have been recognised for their Rental Exchange Programme after scooping the ‘Social Impact of the Year’ award from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The joint initiative allows social housing clients to establish an accurate credit rating – enabling users to access a range of goods and services that would otherwise be restricted to them.
The nomination was made by Capita’s software services and global credit check company Experian.
Solihull became the first place in the country to introduce the initiative – which helps clients build up a credit rating and also provide them with a registered online profile.
The service is then able to help individuals when applying to utility suppliers, mobile phone providers and more, helping achieve fairer, better access to services.
As well as setting up the initiative in Solihull, the team have also lent their support to other councils to ensure that residents all over the country can take advantage of the service.
Coun Karen Grinsell, cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, said: “The work done as part of the Rental Exchange scheme has helped many social tenants out of credit rating poverty traps.
“It is crucial that all residents receive fair treatment and the scheme has ensured that will happen.”
Fiona Hughes, chief of operations at SCH, said: “People on the lowest incomes often pay far more for basic goods and services due to low credit ratings.
“The great work carried out by Chris and his team will enable tenants who make regular rent payments to obtain a higher credit rating.”