Friday, 12 January 2007

Dood Vice Chair Speaks to Housing Associations Conference

The stark reality of doorstep lending was outlined to more than 100 housing officials at a London conference today.

Niall Cooper, Debt on Our Doorstep vice-chairman, urged housing association officials to get into the front rooms of their own tenants.

Speaking at the National Housing Federation 'Financial Inclusion' conference, Mr Cooper pointed out that 20,000 'home lenders' visit people's homes each week.

Urging Housing Associations to provide alternatives to high cost home credit lending, Mr Cooper dismissed the 'common myth' that people without bank accounts were financially illiterate.

He said: "The vast majority are rational, tight budgeting to the penny. They have little assets, income and few savings. It's about juggling. That's what people are doing all the time".

Mr Cooper praised the developed of one-stop shops by housing associations - but said 'active marketing' of the schemes were vital.

He told delegates: "You need to be getting over there into the homes of tenants. You need to hear your tenants' needs * and it's not just about rent. The chance is there to do this at a significant scale."

He concluded: "If you can mobilise assets and financial capability you can provide a huge fillip which few others trying to tackle this problem can actually bring."

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