Our Tenancy Support Officers (TSOs) are continuing to help residents cope with the impact of welfare reform, and are assisting residents who are struggling to afford the shortfall caused by the bedroom tax and benefit cap or who have been affected by changes to their disability benefit.
Residents who have worked with our TSOs have not only been happy with the advice and assistance they have been given, but have also seen an improvement in their finances due to the money gained or saved.
On average residents have seen their finances improve by approximately £780 per year. This has been through accessing schemes such as the warm home discount, applying for grants for household goods, applying for help with water bills, assisting residents to negotiate with their creditors and applying for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs). They have also advised residents on making the best use of their money, getting the best deal whatever they are spending their money on and making it go as far as possible.
With more and more people becoming affected by changes to the benefits system, we are keen to make sure residents get the help and advice that they may need.
If you would like any information regarding your finances please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.
Natalie Davies and Amanda Collins, two of our seven Tenancy Support Officers, enjoy a tea break in our Cardiff office
"I can't thank my Tenancy Support Officer enough for the help and support"
There are many success stories as a result of the intervention of our TSOs, with residents being delighted at the advice and assistance they’ve been given, so we thought we’d share an example with you from a resident we recently visited.
“I’m 21 years old and live by myself in a 2 bed property, having previously lived in it with my Dad who died 18 months ago. The loss of my Dad hit me hard and I’ve struggled to cope, first with the loss of him and then trying to run the house by myself – I’ve got myself into a mess financially if I’m honest.
It wasn’t until I was contacted by the TSO that I realised how bad my finances were. I’d put my head in the sand regarding the bedroom tax. I hadn’t really thought about how I would pay it, I just told my Housing Officer that I’d be fine paying £12 per week, but I couldn’t manage it.
I don’t want to move as I grew up here and have many happy memories. The TSO looked through my finances with me and felt there were a number of things I could save money on. I was paying £10 per week for an old gas debt which the TSO helped me re-negotiate to £2.50 per week. He also applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment which I got, so my rent was covered for 6 months, giving me time to try and find a job. I was also struggling with water debt and the TSO applied for me to enter their customer assistance fund which will allow me to clear the arrears at a much quicker rate.
I can’t begin to thank the TSO for what he’s done for me. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted and I can think about finding a job rather than just worrying about money. If anyone else is in a position like mine I’d strongly recommend them to get in contact with their TSO.”
If you are not able to afford the shortfall, contact us and we’ll do whatever we can to help you afford the bedroom tax shortfall.
Sometimes, even with our help you’ll find it too difficult to afford it and your only option will be to move. If you find yourself in this position it’s important to ACT NOW - the longer you wait the more arrears you will accrue and will need to pay.