Housing association tenants given £1m boost in unclaimed benefits

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Thenue CEO Gary Naylor

HOUSING association tenants have been given a £1m boost after staff helped them unlock access to a raft of benefits.

In just one year, Thenue Housing’s Financial Inclusion Team has worked to help ease the cost-of-living crisis for residents by sourcing unclaimed entitlements.

Bosses have now revealed the extent of its efforts to help tenants claim money they didn’t know they were entitled to.

And now that figure has nudged past the million-pound mark.

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Thenue chief executive Gary Naylor has praised the efforts of staff saying they had “made an amazing effort” to offer a much-needed helping hand.

Gary said: “This remarkable figure reflects the sheer effort of our staff to help people at a time of unprecedented need.

“Some of this period covers the turbulent months of the ongoing pandemic as it continued to have a devastating effect on so many lives.

“We are immensely grateful for their skill, enthusiasm and hard work in delivering this massive level of help for our customers proving that it really does pay to get good advice.”

The Glasgow Times’ Beat The Squeeze campaign has been helping our readers find ways to save money.

We told last month how Citizens Advice Scotland saw a steep increase in people looking for benefits advice, up 13% compared to the same time last year.

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The Citizens Advice network in Scotland gave 79,122 pieces of advice to 25,679 clients.

Benefits remained the top advice area in April 2022, accounting for 49% of all advice, a 5% increase from March.

Staff at the Thenue inclusion team said they find it is often the case people don’t know they are eligible for certain benefits because they were unaware they could claim.

The amount was obtained for tenants by Thenue, much of it in state benefits, between April 2021 and March 31 this year.

Calton-based Thenue has homes across the city but mainly in the East End, Castlemilk, Cranhill and Blackhill.

The role played by the Financial Inclusion Team was thrown sharply into focus as a result of the health emergency which prompted more people to seek out the free and confidential service from Thenue.

Gary said he anticipates the service will attract increasing calls for help as soaring energy bills putting a further squeeze on already-stretched incomes with bills expected to rocket further in the autumn.

Help offered to tenants includes energy advice encouraging them to switch to cheaper tariffs, assistance on making claims for state benefits plus general help on welfare rights.

Gary added: “It is yet another example of the work housing associations and housing co-operatives do which support communities and go far beyond simply collecting the rent.

“We have grown deep roots in areas where our tenants live and never has there been a more important time for help of this kind.”