Council housing tenants in the borough of Cheshire West and Chester who may be struggling to deal with the financial shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been offered support through an innovative new online workshop set up by ForHousing.
Social landlord ForHousing, the provider of the Council’s housing management services, has launched Cash Chats. These are online sessions which are targeted at tenants who have accrued rent arrears due to the pandemic.
The sessions provide information, advice and guidance for those affected by financial shock, or those who need additional support, enabling them to gain a greater understanding and more confidence around financial issues.
Janet Lawton, Strategic Homelessness and Contract lead at ForHousing, said: “Everyone has been affected by the pandemic this year. For many it’s been a really difficult time financially, especially those who were already on lower incomes.
“We’re committed to supporting tenants when they need it, enabling them to maintain their tenancies and become financially stable.
“These workshops are a brilliant way to do that and we’re very proud to be able to offer them to council tenants in Ellesmere Port, Neston, and Winsford.”
The first session took place in November, with two more planned before March and 65 tenants signed up to take part.
The Cash Chats sessions are the latest initiative from ForHousing, which have been proactively supporting Cheshire West and Chester council tenants as much as possible throughout the pandemic.
Activities have included the delivery of wellbeing packs during mental health awareness week, supporting the West Cheshire Foodbank, local councillors delivering food parcels to those in need, and delivering books from the Book Trust to families with young children.
ForHousing also made thousands of wellbeing calls to council tenants offering support, advice, and referrals to other services if it was needed.
More than 40 ForHousing team members volunteered and worked alongside the Council for a total of 138 hours to help make this happen.
Councillor Karen Shore, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for Environment, Highways, and Strategic Transport, said: “The pandemic has affected our communities in many different emotional and financial ways, none more so than people on lower incomes.
“Cash Chats is a fantastic initiative because it offers valuable support to those who need it at a time when it is needed most, providing reassurance and advice to people facing money worries.
“The fact that 65 people have signed up to future sessions demonstrates their effectiveness, and we encourage other tenants to sign up in future if they need help dealing with financial concerns.”
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.