Media Release: MAW help to prevent homelessness

A NEW advice service to prevent homelessness and help social housing tenants affected by welfare reforms – has been set up in Dundee and Perth & Kinross.

MAW (Making Advice Work) is a joint project between Shelter Scotland, Caledonia Housing Association, Fairfield Housing Co-operative and Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.

Says a spokesperson for housing charity, Shelter Scotland: “Funded by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, it will help around 4,500 social housing tenants from all three housing associations.

“The partnership scheme will provide independent housing advice as welfare reforms step up across the region.

“Demand for a housing advice service is particularly high in the Tayside and rural Perthshire region with around 830 people coming forward for help with housing and money and debt issues in 2012/13.

“And in the same year, around 700 households in Perth & Kinross and 1,600 households in Dundee were classed as homeless.

“Now, advisers will deliver a targeted advice service for the association’s social housing tenants from Shelter Scotland’s hub in Dundee, from the partner Housing Association offices and through outreach clinics across the local area.”

Alison Watson, head of services at Shelter Scotland, said: “The MAW project will target those social housing tenants most in need and we are delighted to be working in partnership with all three housing associations.

“As welfare reform changes come into effect across Dundee, Tayside and rural Perthshire many people feel disconnected and many of our clients have told us they are not prepared for Universal Credit.

“With this in mind, the aim of the scheme is to improve financial resilience and help those social housing tenants who are most in need of our help.”

Julie Cosgrove, chief executive of Caledonia HA, said: “On behalf of the partnership and as a forward thinking social landlord we aim to do everything we can to ensure that we prevent our tenants from losing their homes and to help to improve their life chances.

“We are looking forward to working with Shelter and our RSL partners to provide an innovative and pro active aspect to debt advice which will be of significant benefit to our tenants in these challenging times.”

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Contact: Shelter Scotland