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Our housing teams, Hillcrest Energy Advice Team (HEAT) and our Tenancy Sustainment Service (TSS) are always busy supporting tenants, but during the pandemic demand for help shot up as many people were unable to work or had reduced household incomes.
With face to face support not possible, our teams had to adapt to new ways of communicating such as video calling or phone calls. HEAT also created video guides to demonstrate how to efficiently use heating systems – you can watch these video guides here.
TSS had to get to grips with fast moving benefits changes and different funds that tenants could tap into. Both teams also had to keep on top of what other organisations were doing and what crisis support we could provide, such as food parcels or emergency energy top-ups.
Our housing teams made a huge number of welfare calls to check on tenants and identify who needed support so the teams could help as many people as possible. One of our energy advisers, Euan Hird, was even recognised with an Energy Action Scotland award for his outstanding work supporting people.
Our income management team was inundated with calls from tenants who are worried about not being able to pay their rent, as many had lost their jobs and incomes, and are having to claim benefits for the first time. The team has worked hard providing advice and support, very often to people who would never have thought they’d need to ask for help, which has been a huge relief to tenants who are finding themselves in financial difficulty
It’s fantastic that we have been able to help so many tenants during the crisis! Here’s some quick numbers that highlight the positive impact our teams managed to make:
– 2,987 tenants were referred or referred themselves for help
– £2,539,844.95 of financial assistance was generated for tenants
– 2,166 tenants were referred
– £287,456.79 of financial assistance was generated for tenants
If you would like to see how HEAT or TSS can help you, get in touch via the advice section of the MyHillcrest app, or phone 0300 123 2640.