Anne Timeyin, the JMB’s deputy manager, missed out on the Southwark Housing Heroes Customer Service Award, however everyone within the JMB knows about the great work she does. For those outside the JMB:
Anne leads our housing officer and rent team. Anne’s top priority is supporting vulnerable residents.
The base of Anne’s strategy is good knowledge and record keeping. The JMB has 188 tenants who have particular needs that we need to take account of when providing our services. We have 20 who find living independently challenging and need a high level of support and eight who due to a combination of mental health and hoarding issues, really need supported accommodation, which sadly is not available. So we need to provide them with intensive support.
The JMB has a stay in touch strategy, the frequency depending on support needs. Anne is really well respected and effectively accesses support from external agencies. Anne is a volunteer counsellor and has bought her external knowledge to bear, for instance securing support from Christians Against Poverty.
When Anne persuaded directors set up a hardship fund, provide Christmas hampers and utilise our relationship with a local charity, to help our most vulnerable residents, she knew immediatedly who we needed to prioritise.
Anne’s approach to rent arrears work over many years is that the JMB should seek to support, rather than penalise, those struggling to pay their rent. The fruit of this approach is that over the last ten years the JMB has regularly collected over 100% of the rent each year, the cumulative effect is that the JMB has one of the lowest current arrear to annual rent debit ratios of any social housing manager in England.
The JMB is in the SE1 pilot area for the direct payment of the housing element of UC to tenants. The administration by the DWP has been a nightmare. As well as providing intensive support for tenants, Anne has secured the support of Neil Coyle, MP, who has used evidence provided by the JMB to raise concerns in the Select Committee and offered the privileged access to the DWP enjoyed by his casework team to resolve JMB cases.