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Money advice experts secure millions in extra income for residents

A specialist Money Matters Team which supports people struggling with the rising cost of living has helped 1022 tenants to secure £4.2 million in extra income since April 2022.
Money matters team high res

The team is part of Weaver Vale Housing Trust (WVHT), a not-for-profit housing association that owns and manages more than 6,200 homes in the Cheshire and Warrington area.

These latest figures represent a 25% increase in support provided, compared to the previous financial year (2021-2022).

The Money Matters Team’s specialist advisers provide practical support and guidance for customers who are having trouble making ends meet, experiencing difficulties with benefits, or falling behind on rent. Many customers are referred to the team for support by their rent support officer.

Over 2,500 different financial outcomes have been achieved overall by the team. This means that of the 1000 people who have used the service, each one has received an average of at least two types of income; for example Personal Independence Payment (PIP), carers allowance or attendance allowance.

The team also has two dedicated energy advisors that alone have managed to raise over £350,000 in extra income for customers, including writing off outstanding water debts and providing gas vouchers.

Each team member takes the time to get to know each person they work with and creates an action plan with them to help address issues and improve their circumstances. They can even use their expertise to support people to attend court hearings and secure the benefits they are entitled to if their original application has been denied.

Adam Shufflebotham, Team Leader of the Money Matters Team at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “Skyrocketing energy bills and the increasing cost of living have created a perfect storm for customers who increasingly have more complex circumstances they need support with.

“The 25 percent increase in people coming to us and in the income we have secured for them is a testament to our vital service. It also demonstrates how the team goes above and beyond to help every person they work with, and I’m so proud of them all.

“We support people every step of the way. Our goal is to ensure our tenants have the support and the financial assistance they are entitled to so that ultimately we can help improve their quality of life.”

Weaver Vale Housing Trust’s Money Matters Team also holds debt accreditation, meaning that debt relief and bankruptcies can also be carried out in-house for local customers to help them deal with debt they can’t pay.

One local person, Joe*, who was recently supported by the team said: “I discovered Money Matters through my Rent Support officer. It did take me a few years to agree to a referral to the Money Matters team due to my anxiety and not being comfortable with speaking with people I don’t know.

 

“Whilst working with a Money Matters Money Advisor she managed to get me out of my comfort zone and make me feel like I was able to express myself in ways I couldn’t do before.

“I was able to contact her about anything I needed help with, and she always assured me I was being listened to. The Money Matters team made me realise that no one should suffer in silence and that there is always help available.  What an amazing team! Keep making a difference.”

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the tenant

 

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