This new support fund will be based on a case-by-case basis with targeted support and relief to tenants requiring our help to sustain their tenancies when they face hardship.
We proposed that more people are able to get assistance from the support fund should they need it and we said we would like to include;
- Those experiencing mental health/crisis
- Fuel poverty/hardship
- Shopping vouchers to assist with food, school uniform etc
- A change in circumstances that impacts the household for example; loss of job, children reaching an age where non-dependent deductions are added. Other areas can be discussed on a case by case basis
- Support to move (this could be to downsize, pay arrears on mutual exchange to allow move to go ahead or to lower rent).
- Support to attend interviews/pursue employment (childcare, taxis etc.)
- To fund or refer for support for white goods or furniture
We asked you;
- Are there any other areas we should consider when it comes to support?
- Do you think we should give tenants an incentive to downsize their property so that they can move into more affordable accommodation?
- Do you think there should be a maximum amount someone is entitled to?
- Should someone be able to use the fund more than once in the financial year?
- We are proposing that if a tenant is causing serious anti-social behaviour issues or has a court case/court action pending that they should NOT be allowed to apply to the fund. Do you think this is fair?
- We would like to use the information we hold on both a property and people who live inside the property to enable us to target those who may be in hardship or in need of support, would you welcome this approach?
- The purpose of this fund is to help people who are facing hardship of some kind. What is your view of someone accessing the fund if they are not working with us, or someone else to improve their financial situation?
- How do you think we should we advertise/communicate the fund to ensure as many people as possible know about it?
We had 82 responses to the consultation and we want to thank everyone who took the time to give us their views. As a direct result of what you told us we can confirm that;
- We will consider more than one application within a 12 month period
- The maximum value has increased to £500 rather than £250
- There is a wider reach that includes shared owners
- We will be more proactive in trying to reach as many people as possible who we think may need to use this fund
- We will consider any application on a case-by-case basis so that we can consider individual needs and circumstances.
You can find the new policy in full here.