BHA's financial inclusion team secures over £1m for tenants
Residents have benefited from over £1million in annual support thanks to the intervention of Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA).
Together with a number of local organisations, BHA has strived to improve the health and wellbeing of their tenants and the wider community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020/21 BHA’s financial inclusion team received a total of 435 referrals and as a result of its intervention, annual benefit gains amounting to £1,004,805.39 were achieved from 272 separate benefit claims.
The team also worked with Eyemouth Community Council to access support for struggling families during the pandemic.
Following a successful application to the Radio Borders Cash for Kids ‘Warm and Well’ funding scheme, the community council approached BHA for help identifying families on Universal Credit or with children receiving free school meals who would qualify to receive £100 per child.
Marion Rayner, BHA’s senior financial inclusion officer, explained: “The successful application initially benefitted 29 children from 17 households who were awarded £100 cash per child.
"As there was a tight deadline for the first round of applications, Eyemouth Community Council worked with BHA to identify more beneficiaries and another 103 children from 43 households were supported.
"This additional income has made such a difference to the families involved.”
A total of £9,900 was distributed across Berwickshire, 85 per cent of the recipients of which were self-employed or working single parents who struggled as a result of lockdown, while 15 per cent went to unemployed families who struggled to get benefits.
More tenants were offered additional support and directed to projects such as Eyemouth Community Fridge and Reston and Auchencrow Community Larder.
BHA also supported the Ayton Resilience Group to identify those in the area who would benefit from a hamper donated by local businesses.
Through the One Parent Families Scotland emergency energy fund, where third sector and statutory organisations could sponsor single parents to apply for £50 for help with their energy costs, BHA made applications for 21 one parent families.
Working with Link of Eyemouth, Splash and the Eyemouth Rotary Club a total of 22 Christmas hampers were delivered to vulnerable tenants and BHA financial inclusion advisers oversaw the delivery of toys from Mission Christmas for 14 children.