Maryhill Housing Association secures bumper £2.2m payday for tenants

Cheque this out…….staff from Maryhill Housing Association with the bumper sum obtained for tenants
Cheque this out…….staff from Maryhill Housing Association with the bumper sum obtained for tenants

Tenants are celebrating a cash boost of over £2 million after Maryhill Housing Association swung into action to offer a helping hand.

The Association revealed it had obtained the money across a range of State benefits and grants for its tenants in Maryhill and Ruchill.

The huge amount which works out at £2,187,541 is mostly made up of cash which people were entitled to and were not claiming.

Advice and assistance was also given to obtain help from schemes like the Warm Home Discount Scheme, Cash for Kids and charitable grants.

The sheer scale of the amount of money has delighted the Association which said it proved its commitment to helping tenants is literally paying off.

Last year the Association committed extra resources to its so-called “Financial Inclusion” work by employing four extra people in addition to two existing welfare rights officers.

This was made possible by funding for two posts from the Big Lottery and a further two from the Scottish Legal Aid Board “Making Advice Work” programme.

Tenants are consistently encouraged to approach the housing association on a range of financial matters such as difficulties in paying rent, assistance on energy saving and debt advice.

A crucial part of this work is identifying areas where people are eligible for State benefits which they may not know they are entitled to. In many cases if a claim is made it can be backdated. These included things like housing benefit, Personal Independence Payments and Discretionary Housing Payments.

The Association has hailed its Financial Inclusion service as a “real helping hand” and proved that community-based housing associations like Maryhill do much more than simply collect the rent.

The Association found that in many cases individuals did not know that they were entitled to such benefits as Carers’ Allowance, Jobseekers’ Allowance, Pension Credit and Disability Living Allowance.

Jennifer Simon, housing services manager at the Association, said: “This remarkable figure of over £2 million shows that a significant number of our tenants have not been claiming a range of benefits to which they are entitled.

“Our Financial Inclusion service is here to help people and we are delighted with the amount of money we have been able to obtain for them. A dedicated team of staff has been working very hard on this issue.

“There is very clear evidence that people will not make claims for benefit due to the perception that the process is complex and that claims will be unsuccessful. This is where we have been providing assistance.

“The role of Maryhill Housing Association is to ensure people have good homes and to be a good landlord but we do much more than that. Our Financial Inclusion service shows that we are actively helping people in the Maryhill and Ruchill communities.”

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