Forgewood Housing Co-Op welcomes Czech Republic delegation to North Lanarkshire

Forgewood Housing Co-op Ltd and Motherwell & Wishaw Citizens Advice Bureau welcomed visitors from the Czech Republic Ministry of Social Affairs and the country’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau to North Lanarkshire.

The delagates learned about the joint Advice for Tenants and Residents Project (AFTAR) between Motherwell & Wishaw CAB and five housing associations (including Forgewood Housing Co-op Ltd and Garrion People’s Housing Co-op Ltd). They also learned about the new multimillion pound community facility in Forgewood, Motherwell.

The visitors included; Hynek Kalvoda: chairman of Association of Social Advising, Lucie Valova (head of social housing and equal opportunities of Czech ministry of labour and social affairs), Silvester Kopka (Citizens Advice Centres Slovakia), Stanislav Skalicky, C.E.O. of ACAC Council and their translator Vojtech Kadlec.

The joint Advice for Tenants and Residents Project (AFTAR) works with housing association residents who have been impacted by welfare reform. Its work with the residents to maximize their income, pay their priority payments and help them prepare for the introduction of Universal Credit.

The new multi-million pound centre brings together several community resources within a single location in an inclusive and sustainable modern building. This project has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Government, WREN, Local Energy Scotland and Forgewood Holdings. The new centre will provide a much needed community asset for Forgewood which will be able to be fully utilised and enjoyed by all in the local area.

Hynek Kalvoda, chairman of Association of Social Advising (Association of Citizens Advice Centres in the Czech Republic) said: “We would like to thank Motherwell & Wishaw CAB, Garrion People’s Housing Co-op Ltd & the Forgewood Housing Co-op Ltd for accommodating our request to visit the local housing co-ops and discuss Scottish best practice in term of the Social Housing standards and advice provision to tenants.

“We were impressed with the specialist AFTAR Project (Advice for Tenants and Residents) – 5 Housing Associations working in partnership with Motherwell and Wishaw CAB to improve access to advice and information for their tenants. We were also really inspired by the innovative community hub for the local residents built in order to improve the quality of life of the local residents in both Forgewood, Motherwell and Gowkthrapple, Wishaw.”

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