Working social tenants offered help to get new home

As the organisations who know these residents best, the Government wants councils and housing associations to help households who are in low-paid work and need help to improve their career prospects, or to avoid getting into debt.

Under a new home-finding scheme, a resident with the offer of work outside their local area will be given help to find affordable accommodation nearer to their new job.

Tenants will have a single contact point where they can access a new brokering service to register their interest and receive personal help and advice in finding the new home they need to take up their job offer.

The scheme will first run in the North East, North West and Yorkshire, and if successful it will then be extended across the country.

But of the 1.3million working households in social rented homes, more than half a million earn less than £20,000 a year.

So Healey has also outlined plans to give councils and housing associations a greater role in helping tenants in low-paid jobs, by holding financial health checks to help keep them out of debt and ensure they receive the tax breaks and other Government support they are entitled to, and by offering advice about training opportunities to help them into better paid work.

The Government is to make £1.2million available next year for councils and housing associations to run test schemes in up to 15 areas across the country.

Healey said: "Many residents in council and housing association homes are finding it difficult to make ends meet. They are more likely to be in low-paid work and often have been more affected by the recession, with reduced hours, less overtime, and wage cuts. But they are determined to stand on their own feet and to work hard for themselves and their families. These people are the recession’s real ‘squeezed middle’, and we should recognise their determination, offer help and advice and remove obstacles that might get in the way of taking up a better job.

"Social landlords know their areas and know their tenants. They are well placed to make good advice available – on managing finances, or finding the right training opportunities, or on support for carers. I expect landlords to do what they can to support their tenants and point them in the direction of the help that’s available from local and national Government."

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