The Tenancy Sustainment Team have been busy since 23rd March when the Government announced a lockdown of the UK which has left many people uncertain about their pay and income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last 4 weeks the team of 5,also supported by Gloucester Law Centre, have seen an influx of very different enquiries, mainly from households who work and are facing challenges with being unable to work, being furloughed, needing to increase caring responsibilities and home schooling.
The team are experts in the welfare benefits system, including the new regulations and legislation passed by Government to help support residents through this crisis. Advice and guidance have changed very quickly and the team have already helped over 300 customers guide them through the new processes to secure their income and help keep their households running.
The team are there to make sure you can sustain your tenancy and stay in your home which is where we all need to be to stay safe right now.
If you have any questions for the team, big or small, please get in touch on 01452 833217 and have a chat to one of the friendly Tenancy Sustainment Advisors to put your mind at rest.
Over the past year the team have helped tenants gain an extra income of £2,718,913.61!
Examples of how we have helped tenants
Mrs A is a pension age lady who was working. Due to her age she was advised to self isolate for 12 weeks and stopped receiving payments from her 0-hour contract job. Mrs A has never claimed Housing benefit or Council tax support however after completing a benefit calculator it showed she is entitled to a small entitlement of Housing Benefit. Leighanne supported the tenant to make a claim and asked for a 3 month backdate which has now been awarded. Luckily Mrs A’s rent account was in credit and she was also able to use some of this to get her rent payment back on track – a great example of why having credit in your rent account can help you in unexpected situations.
Mr B failed an application for Universal Credit due to not being an UK National therefore started working on 12th March only to be faced with no work just two weeks later. Corine helped Mr B by speaking to his employer and encouraging them to furlough him so that he can be paid at least 80% of his wages. Corine also referred Mr B to a charity who can help with his immigration status.
Miss C, her partner and young child have who live with their grandmother usually pay their rent in full from self-employed income however have no income since the lockdown measures were introduced. Nikki helped them to complete a benefit check which showed that the grandmother is eligible for full housing benefit and council tax support and assisted the family with submitting these claims over the phone. The money has been awarded and backdated to cover the last 3 months. Previously the family had spoken to a non-GCH advisor and not been asked the correct questions around disability benefits therefore resulting in incorrect advice.