Project to tackle young tenants' debt problems
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance
Over 6,000 young social housing tenants in Birmingham are to be targeted by a project designed to prevent them from spiralling into debt.
Run by Ashram Housing Association in partnership with Birmingham City Council, St Basils, Birmingham’s Social Housing Partnership, Groundwork West Midlands and others, 'Pay Ahead, Stay Ahead’ is aimed at 16-24 year olds.
It is hoped the scheme will teach the young tenants how to manage their finances with confidence, including how to save and budget before they hit crisis point.
It will also offer work placements and volunteering opportunities in a bid to help some of the 15,000 young unemployed people in Birmingham back into work.
Emma Wright, the scheme's programme manager, said: “In a survey by a bank and charity this year, 41% of 14-25 year olds didn’t know the difference between being overdrawn and in credit when looking at a bank statement.
“It’s vital that we ensure that young people, especially first time tenants, have the knowledge and skills to confidently manage their finances so that they don’t fall into debt or rent arrears.
“'Pay Ahead, Stay Ahead’ will do this by using a variety of innovative and interactive techniques - equipping young people with money management skills as well as help with developing their skills for the workplace.”
The scheme has received £999,000 from the Big Lottery Fund as part of its improving financial confidence initiative.
Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for social cohesion and equalities, said: "The ability to properly manage your finances is an essential life skill but without basic knowledge people can easily slip into debt.
"This project will give young people the skills and knowledge needed to budget and save, hopefully helping them avoid the many potential pitfalls when you're managing your finances for the first time."
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