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Working together for you! A case study

Posted: July 19, 2022

With rent arrears of over £3,000 and a court date set for the eviction, a referral was made from our Income Management (IM) team to our Tenancy Sustainment Service (TSS). The tenant had never engaged with staff and no payments had been made to their rent account for a number of months despite the best efforts of IM, TSS and their designated Housing Officer.

The tenant had two major bereavements just as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were put in place. This had a detrimental impact on their mental health and they isolated themselves at home, using the pandemic as a way to avoid contact with the outside world.

The tenant had neglected themselves and their property, and told the TSS team that they hadn’t engaged due to feeling overwhelmed and ashamed. The tenant had tried self-employed work, but struggled to earn much as their poor health meant that they often couldn’t leave the house.

A friend of the tenant said they were shocked to see how bad things had become and they made contact with Hillcrest on behalf of the tenant due to these concerns.

TSS worked with the tenant to submit a claim for Universal Credit to obtain some household income and help with housing costs.

The team successfully applied for a Community Care Grant from the local authority to replace floor coverings and essential furniture. A further successful application was made to the local authority for assistance from the Tenant Grant Fund – designed to help with rent arrears incurred due to the pandemic – and £1500 was awarded to the tenant, helping to prevent eviction.

A referral was made to the Tenancy Support team who helped the tenant to access new white goods for their property. A dedicated Support Worker was allocated to help them to engage with support services to manage their tenancy going forward.

The tenant was also referred to the Hillcrest Energy Advice Team (HEAT) who provided an energy top-up and helped access their local foodbank for a food parcel.

These interventions assisted the tenant while they were waiting for payment of their Universal Credit. In the month since first contact with the tenant, Hillcrest has helped them access approximately £5000 of grants and other interventions, and they are now £440 better off per month.

The tenant says they now feel much more motivated and positive about the future. They have been getting their flat ready for new carpets and furniture, and are looking forward to redecorating their property.