Funding boost for Link’s tenant advice service

Big Lottery Fund newLink Group Ltd has been awarded £548,000 as part of the latest Investing in Communities funding package from the Big Lottery.

The funding will allow Link’s Tenant Transition Advice Service (TTAS) to deliver its Financial Inclusion service for a further three years from December 2015.

Referrals to the service are either self-referrals or are made by staff who have recognised a transition point in a tenant’s life where they may have difficulty managing money. Staff can also provide debt services to ensure tenants are empowered to make appropriate decisions about how to manage their debt.

In addition, by working with key ‘at risk’ groups, the service will develop initiatives adopting an early intervention and prevention strategy so that tenants are provided with support and skills to prevent escalation into debt. Advice and information on appropriate borrowing and saving will also be provided.

Recognising the increasing requirement for tenants to access digital services in relation to making benefit claims and arranging goods and services, Link’s Digital Inclusion Officer will work with individual tenants and develop group initiatives to upskill and educate tenants. Service provision will also include sourcing of appropriate hardware and broadband connection to maximise learning and opportunity.

The service is delivered to Link and Horizon Housing Association tenants across 23 local authority areas by three Money Advice Officers, a Digital Inclusion Officer and two Project Assistants and is managed by a Senior Project Officer.

The service is complemented by a specialist Welfare Rights team, funded by Link, Horizon and the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s Making Advice Work programme, focussing on welfare reform matters.

Craig Sanderson, Link Group chief executive, said: “Link is delighted to have been awarded funding from Big Lottery to continue to deliver our Tenant Transition Advice Service. This service allows us to engage with our tenants to help them deal with the challenges they face through ever-increasing pressures on their household budgets.”

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40 per cent of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Other groups to receive a share of the funding include Article 12 and CLAN Cancer Support, Glenboig Neighbourhood House, Crossroads Caring for Carers (Cowal & Bute) SCIO and The Phoenix Community Health Project.

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland chair, added: “Our Big Lottery Fund support focuses on people and communities in greatest need. With today’s awards, six projects across the country will help people facing a variety of challenge move through tough times to a better future. From connecting with hard to reach youngsters and giving them the skills and confidence to move onto training, to providing vital advice and support to tenants at risk of spiralling into debt, this life changing money will make a huge difference to thousands of people across the country.”


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