Innovating services that support tenants to build financial resilience and withstand financial shocks

A few days before my first Universal Credit payment, they told me how much I was going to get. I was gutted. I just wanted enough to pay my rent. All the rent arrears and council tax have built up now. Things are on top of us, I’m at my last tether, I don’t know what to do.

Anonymised tenant’s story, as told to Shift

The Challenge

Like many housing associations, One Manchester has learnt that their customers face a range of challenges that reduce their financial resilience and negatively impact on their overall wellbeing, including the introduction of Universal Credit. One Manchester wants to play a meaningful role in supporting tenants who are financially vulnerable to better withstand shocks, reduce their arrears and build financial resilience for the future.

One Manchester are delighted to be working with Shift to increase the financial resilience of our tenants and develop services to support them.

Issy Taylor, Group Head of Strategy & Business Development, One Manchester

The Solution

Shift is partnering with One Manchester to identify service improvements, new products and potential partnerships to help build their tenants’ financial resilience, with an initial focus on the impact of Universal Credit.

So far…

  • Organisational stakeholder interviews
  • Process and user mapping
  • Service provision mapping for Greater Manchester area
  • Human-centred, qualitative research design to surface tenants experiences of Universal Credit
  • Extended, in-home depth interviews with 18 One Manchester tenants
  • Development of nine tenant stories to build empathy and understanding
  • Creation of five tenant scenarios to support future service innovation
  • Testing a new service prototype focused on the ‘5 week wait’ for tenants’ first Universal Credit payment
  • Testing a new data profiling system to tailor long-term support to tenants’ personal needs






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