Housing associations share accessible advice funding

Housing associations share accessible advice funding

A number of housing associations are among the organisations to have been awarded a share of funding to provide financial advice where people need it.

Almost £1 million has been distributed to partnerships between advice agencies and other local services such as schools, charities, hospitals and mental health services.

The fund will build on the success of the Welfare Advice and Health Partnerships initiative that put dedicated advisers into 180 GP practices in some of Scotland’s most deprived and rural areas – helping to reach those most in need.

There will be a particular emphasis on providing advice to those who are traditionally hardest to help or who have not sought advice before.

Housing minister Paul McLennan said: “The cost of living crisis is putting many households across Scotland under huge strain. Advice services play an increasingly critical role across Scotland’s communities by helping people to access support and benefits they may be entitled to, as well as helping them to understand their rights.

“This funding is part of more than £12.3 million that the Scottish Government is providing this year to support income maximisation, welfare and debt advice services. It will ensure we provide people with advice in places where they are more likely to already be, and we will focus particularly on reaching families.

“We know that early access to advice can make a dramatic difference to people’s financial situation and prevent issues – including debt – escalating.”

Grants are being distributed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Advice UK, the largest support network for independent advice organisations in the UK.

Projects with a focus on families, including disabled or single parents, those caring for a disabled person and parents from minority ethnic communities are among those which have been successful in securing funding.

The scheme is funded in part through the Scottish allocation from the Debt Advice Levy, which is raised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority by applying a levy to UK Clearing banks and consumer credit businesses.

Evidence from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has highlighted the success of embedding welfare advice in GP surgeries. Initial findings from an interim report, conducted by the Improvement Service and covering the period between January 2022 and March 2023, showed that 89% of the almost 10,000 Welfare Advice and Health Partnership service users were ‘new’ users of advice – highlighting that the provision of welfare advice in accessible and trusted settings is allowing wider populations to engage with vital services.

The Scottish Government estimates that more than 60,000 people were supported by Scottish Government-funded debt advice services in 2022-23.

Below is a table of the organisations that have been successful in their application to the fund:

AUK Members


Brooksbank Centre

Carseview Centre (mental health centre) - Ninewells Hospital

CHAI Edinburgh

The Rock Trust

Children 1st

Inverclyde Health and Social Work Team

Clyde Valley Housing Association

Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Citizens Advice, Hamilton Citizens Advice, Clydesdale Citizens Advice Bureau

Epilepsy Scotland

Colin Murdoch of Murray Stewart Fraser Limited & NHS – 1-2 Specialist Epilepsy Clinics

Falkirk Council

NHS Forth Valley

Financial Fitness

Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Inverclyde Homeless Centre, Oak Tree and Cloch Housing Associations

7 ½ John Wood Street Community Centre, Inverclyde Secondary Schools, Inverclyde Carers Centre



Glasgow Disability Alliance

GeMap Scotland

Glen Oaks Housing Association

Step Change Debt Charity, the WIN Project in Carnwadric and Carnwadric Church Food Bank

Govan Housing Association

Govan Help

Granton Information Centre

Pilton Community Health Project, The Ripple Project, Saheliya

Harbour Homes

YMCA Edinburgh

Hillhead Housing Association

Kirkintilloch Baptist Church & East Dunbartonshire Foodbank

Money Matters

Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership, Eastbank Conference Centre

One Parent Families

Stepping Stones for Families

Paisley Housing Association

Williamsburgh Housing Association & Renfrewshire CAB

Positive Action in Housing

Community Money Advice

Southside Housing Association

CDHA, Craigdale HA, New Gorbals HA

Salvation Army Dunbar - St Ann’s

St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal & Methodist Church

Stirling Council

NHS Forth Valley

THAW Orkney

Orkney Citizens Advice

Tollcross Community Trust

Tollcross Housing Association & Shettleston HA

West of Scotland Housing Association

Willowcare Trust

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