Sterling advice saves Riverside tenants
Published by Roisin Rowley-Smith for Riverside in Communities and also in Housing
Riverside’s money advice service, launched almost a year ago, is helping support thousands of people who are being hit by the welfare benefit reforms.
A team of advisors based at the social landlord’s head office in Speke and at local offices across the country, has helped 1,670 tenants access around £1.2 million in unclaimed benefits.
The team has also helped people avoid eviction and remain in their homes by reducing rent arrears of over £133,000. This money will help tenants pay their rent and other household bills and reduce the stresses and strains of living on a low income.
Laura Bostock is financial inclusion project manager for Riverside. She said: “We are working hard to help people with their budgeting. We recognise that many people already struggling to get by on lower incomes could be even worse off when more welfare benefit reforms hit in April. The welfare benefit system is such a minefield. Many are struggling to understand the impact that the changes may have on their finances and our money advisors are here to help.”
Advisors work on behalf of tenants to liaise with government departments to claim benefits that some didn’t realise they were entitled to. This can make a real difference to families choosing to eat, or heat their homes.
Riverside has written to over 6,000 people who may be affected by the welfare benefit changes, in particular the bedroom tax, which penalises those who are thought to have spare bedrooms.
Laura Bostock added: “We are urging Riverside tenants who are struggling to cope, who don’t understand how the changes will affect them, or who have a letter from us about the bedroom tax to get in touch.”
Contact Riverside’s customer service centre on 0845 155 9035.