Money matters – homes not homeless

South Essex Homes in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau are taking steps to reduce rent arrears and help those residents that have found themselves in financial difficulty.

The new project means that when tenants have been served a notice seeking possession due to rent arrears, they will be offered independent housing and debt advice and any pending action will be
suspended.

They will also be given advice on other debts. They will work together with the resident to maximise their income and assist in managing expenditure effectively and all advice is completely free
and confidential.

Simon Putt, Revenue Services Manager at South Essex Homes, says tenants worried about debt and keeping up with their payments should seek help at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “We are really excited about the launch of our project working together with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help those tenants who are struggling to cope with their finances.

“It is really important we know if there is a problem as soon as possible before the situation spirals out of control, so they can receive the specialist advice and support to help them resolve
their difficulties.

“The aim is of the project is about sustaining tenancies and ensuring that residents keep their home, eviction is really the last resort and by working in partnership we can keep track and work
together with our residents.

Trish Carpenter, Bureau Manager, Southend Citizens Advice Bureau, also added: “This is basically giving the tenant a second chance to enable them to take control of their situation and a
realistic plan will be developed individual to the tenant.

“When tenants receive contact from South Essex Homes, we want to reassure them not to panic, we are here to help them and sort through their financial problems and in the long term ensure that they
do not lose their home.

“All advice we provide will be completely confidential but by working together with South Essex Homes we are being provided with the opportunity to make that important initial contact with the
tenant.”

Where tenants ignore the offer of assistance and continually fail to pay their rent, South Essex Homes will take action.

Simon Putt said: “We make every effort to reach an agreement with tenants in rent arrears but we do take failure to pay very seriously. A court order is the last option but tenants must be aware
that they risk losing the roof over their head if they fail to pay their rent.”

To get in touch with South Essex Homes about the project please call freephone 0800 0234 057.

 

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