Your Rent and Income Service

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Help in your home - MONEY matters, News, On your estate.

Our Rent and Income Service does much more than collect rent and charges. They also offer several different types of support to help tenants manage their money and be happy in their home.

Here’s a guide to the help that’s available if you need it.

New Tenancy Team sign up all introductory tenancies, meeting the tenant in person and finding out any support they need as early as possible.

Rent and Income Team collects outstanding money owed on rent accounts, including rent owed by people who have moved out, and people who rent a garage from us. The team also deals with housing benefit, court costs and rechargeable repairs.

The team’s main aim is to keep people in their homes. They talk to tenants to make sure they are making the most of the support available.

These support needs could be, for example, fuel poverty, food poverty, zero income, or lack of GP or health support.

Advice and Support Team help residents to navigate the often complex and frustrating benefit systems.

To make it easy for customers to get help, members of the team are at Jobcentre Plus and Citizens Advice every day.

The team takes on a wide range of work. In a given week an officer could help a customer get a better energy deal, help with grant applications for things like household appliances and carpets, register for GP services, or simply help to provide food and essentials. Recently an Advice and Support Officer secured £6,000 in backdated benefit for one tenant.

Debt Advice Team meets with customers in need to assess their debt and agree on an appropriate course of action. Outcomes can range from offering basic debt and money management advice, liaising with creditors and, at the end of the scale, helping people through insolvency.

In 2017-18 the team made approximately £585,000 of financial gains for customers.

Employment Officer can help with all aspects of getting a job and preparing to join the job market.

They will also help to tackle issues such as food or fuel poverty, social inclusion, mental health support, addiction support and attending Employment and Support Allowance assessments, so the customer can focus on looking for work.

They can help with travel expenses, clothing for interviews, childcare costs, course funding, and creating a CV.

In 2017-18, helped by our Employment Officer, 30 people started work.

If you think the Advice and Support Team could help you, call 0191 433 6161 or email adviceandsupport@gatesheadhousing.co.uk