Anne to the Rescue!
Our Money Adviser, Anne Rattray, has been inundated with requests for help since lockdown started, and has been quietly working away, making things easier for our tenants. Even though she’s extremely busy, she took the time to provide a case study, as an example of the work she’s been doing:
I was sent a referral by the Housing Officer for a tenant who needed some financial help/advice. The tenant was a single parent with two young children. She was not working and in receipt of DWP benefits.
I arranged to call her to find out a bit more about her situation. It turned out that her electricity supply to her property had been disconnected a few months ago, as she had not topped up her prepayment meter. She now had an outstanding debt on the meter which she couldn’t afford to pay. The tenant was very stressed and anxious with the situation she now found herself in. She did not know how she was going to get the electricity supply reconnected and was currently having to stay with a friend.
After spending time discussing her situation, I was able to contact Scottish Power on her behalf and they agreed to provide her with a credit so that she could top up the meter. She did this but was still left with a debt on the meter.
I then received an email from ELFIN (East Lothian Financial Inclusion Network) who had applied to the Wellbeing Fund to set up a Fuel Poverty Grant Fund for families with children under 19 who may be struggling with increased fuel costs. ELFIN had been successful in their application and secured £20,000 to provide grants to families across East Lothian.
I completed an application on behalf of the tenant, and she was awarded a £100 grant to help with her fuel costs. This enabled her to clear the debt on her prepayment meter, get her electricity supply reconnected and move back into her home.
I also applied for a further 14 tenants. All the applications were successful, and they each received £100 grant payment towards extra fuel costs.
Even more impressive, when the tenant was contacted to ask if she minded being used for this case study, she made a point to thank Anne for also getting her a washing machine through the Scottish Welfare Fund!
STOP PRESS - One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) has secured additional funding for emergency energy grants for single parent families. This funding can only be applied for through Anne – to contact Anne, please use the ‘Money Advice’ help form in your My Home account.