New funding allows Link to extend project for tenants affected by welfare reform

Link new logoLink Group has been awarded an additional £40,715 to extend its Welfare Reform project until March 2017.

The initiative is one of over 100 projects funded as part of the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s (SLAB) Making Advice Work (MAW) programme, which has gained an extra £6 million from the Scottish Government and the Money Advice Service.

The funding aims to increase the ability of people in Scotland facing debt and problems stemming from benefits changes to get advice and representation to resolve their difficulties. Link has been able to employ one full-time welfare rights officer and one trainee welfare rights officer to work on its Welfare Reform Skills Development and Exchange Project.

The project assists more than 500 tenants in 23 local authority areas, including tenants of Horizon Housing Association, by providing help to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform through targeted interventions, maximising income and helping tenants to manage the new benefits systems.

Link’s director of housing services, June Green, said: “This funding is most welcome and will allow us to provide advice and assistance to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that our tenants are currently facing as a result of changes to the welfare and benefits system. It will improve access to benefits and the health and well-being of our tenants.”

Colin Lancaster, chief executive of SLAB, said: “The continued backing for projects such as Link’s highlights the success of the joint funding approach taken by the Scottish Government and Money Advice Service. These projects work with people at crucial times in their lives and make a significant contribution to tackling inequalities in our society.”

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