As the Income and Financial Inclusion Manager, I will produce an income and financial inclusion strategy to maximise collection of income. I’ll be working with my team to ensure that the organisation identifies and deals sensitively with tenants in debt. We’ll be aiming to reduce arrears and provide a financial inclusion service to support tenants in managing their finances.
I will be working alongside my team, getting stuck in, and pulling up my sleeves; I’m not afraid of that. I suppose the thing I’m most excited about is the challenge of getting the arrears down and having a good team around me, so we work together to achieve this. Not only that, I’m excited about the financial inclusion piece, which is essentially dealing with the tenants who bury their heads in the sand; those who are afraid to answer the phone or meet with us because they may have a lot of debt. It’ll be a challenge meeting with them but enabling and supporting them to get their finances back in order, whether that’s helping them set up appointments with MABS, going to local community groups such as the Lion’s club or St Vincent De Paul to get food vouchers so they can free up some of their income, or contacting their community welfare officer to see if they’re eligible for another welfare payment. It’s just about helping people.
Some people aren’t good at finance. It’s about helping people prioritise their rent above all else. Having good working relationships with tenants is key. They should be able to pick up the phone, and not be frightened. We should listen to them, have a good approach with them so they don’t end up burying their heads. Chasing money isn’t a nice job, it’s a hard job. If we approach it from the perspective of ‘We’re a team, we’re here to help. How can we help you?’ it’ll make a huge difference. That’s what I want my team to be like. Eviction for us will always be the last resort. It will happen, and it won’t be nice, but we will take a preventative approach to minimise the need to evict. You never know what someone may be going through, we need to be mindful that behind every door there’s a different story.
I’ll be working with Niamh Delaney, Catriona Allen, Lyndsay Quirke, Noel Magee and Melissa Ferraz. There’s a quote from Nelson Mandela that I love, “A leader is like a shepherd who stays behind the flock letting the most nimble go out ahead whereupon the others follow not realising all along that they’re being directed from behind.” That’s the kind of sentiment I want to apply to my role. I’m a manager but I can lead from behind, having a great team that are autonomous and capable.