Emergency payment scheme up
and running within 48 hours.
After the evacuation of 1,200 residents from a housing estate, NPS helped Camden roll out an effective emergency payment scheme, fast.
On the evening of Friday 23rd June 2017, after safety inspections had raised serious concerns, The London Borough of Camden Council and fire services jointly announced the decision to evacuate four blocks on its Chalcot Estate.
“On Friday evening, we told 1,200 people they had to leave their homes with immediate effect...Our emergency plans kicked in...to find a way to make emergency payments to support those moved into temporary accommodation.” ~ Alan Porter, Head of Benefits at Camden Council.
"I knew they [NPS] could do it, but I wasn’t prepared for just how flexible and fast their system could be. Even when we needed to change most of the payments to BACS, due to a shortage of cash in the Paypoints, we were able to do so efficiently."
~ Alan Porter, Head of Benefits at Camden Council.
On the Monday morning, Alan got in touch with NPS and by Wednesday residents were able to call a dedicated number and request payments.
"Our prime consideration was their safety, but we then had to provide the right support while the problems were rectified. We needed something fast because our residents were buying essential items and were out of pocket. NPS could not have been more helpful, and their team went above and beyond to make sure people would get paid."
Camden agreed a £100 per person per week allowance which could be paid in advance and withdrawn in cash from Paypoints in convenience stores.
Web pages giving advice were made available and the constant liaison between the residents and the council helped to deliver almost 100% take up, with the first payments being made by the end of that week. Camden Council, with a small Treasury team who could only make BACS and CHAPS payments, remain clear that NPS provided the only workable option for the payments.
Emergency work was soon completed on the blocks and every resident moved back in to their homes by 30th July.
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