We are responding to the changes in a variety of ways. We know that times are hard for everyone, with bills for heating, fuel and food all increasing, and that even the smallest changes to benefits can have a large impact.
- We are doing what we can to help those most in need. We are contacting those residents who are affected the most to talk through their options with them.
- We also know that the best way to avoid these cuts is to get into work or self-employment. The iWork service provides help, support and advice to find the right training or placement that works for you, as well as suitable employment opportunities.
- We have a Housing Aid Team and an Income Maximisation team. Their job is to help residents with benefits claims and appeals, rent and housing problems.
- We have launched a new multiple debt team - as we know that if you are struggling with money, you may well get into arrears with council bills, such as your rent or council tax, and we want to make sure you have the help you need so you do not get into crisis.
- We have given £1.2 million to our local independent community legal advice agencies (including the CAB) to give specialist debt and welfare benefits advice to our residents and have frozen council tax for the next year.
- We are working with the Credit Union to provide affordable loans to offer an alternative to expensive pay day lenders.
- We are working with the Cripplegate Foundation to provide a new way of offering support to residents facing exceptional difficulty.
- We are pooling various resources to form a Resident Support Scheme which will ensure help gets to our most vulnerable residents. The Resident Support Scheme could be used in lots of ways, such as helping care leavers, helping someone who has just come out of hospital, helping with housing costs for a short period of time, or helping with expenses related to employment. In some cases help can be given to those who need food and fuel in a crisis situation.