Here to Help

An increasing number of people are starting to feel the impacts of welfare reform with reduced entitlements in housing benefit and the introduction of the benefits cap resulting in reduced income and debt and money problems for people already struggling with finances. More tenants and homeowners affected by rent and mortgage arrears are facing homelessness and public sector cuts means that advice services are struggling to cope with the level of demand for help.

Scottish Government and the Big Lottery have responded by introducing new funding streams – Making Advice Work and Support and Connect – to improve the provision of advice and support services over the next 2 – 3 years. We have been assisting housing associations and wider public and voluntary sector agencies prepare partnership proposals with various advice services to deliver more effective and better targeted intervention and outreach services to resolve financial hardship. We have assisted our client housing associations prepare and submit funding for projects in Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire which were identified as amongst the three most hardest hit local authorities in Scotland by welfare reform. The selection of these projects was based on research report by Sheffield Hallam University ‘Hitting the poorest areas hardest’.

welfare-report

In Inverclyde, where a significant proportion of overall household income relies on the welfare system, reforms will result in a loss per working age adult of £630 per annum.

New or more integrated services planned will cover welfare rights, money and debt advice, employment and disability rights, fuel poverty, food poverty and homelessness with the intention of assisting people deal with immediate financial crisis as well as increasing money management skills to promote greater financial capability in the longer term.

This week applications we prepared totaling approximately £500,000 were approved by the Big Lottery Fund.

Filed Under: Funding

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