Community-led organisation, Castle Vale Community Housing (CVCH) – part of The Pioneer Group, helped more than 200 people last week by offering advice to prepare them for the launch of Universal Credit.
One of the government’s biggest changes to the welfare system is the introduction of Universal Credit. This new, means-tested, benefit replaces following benefits such as; Housing Benefits, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits.
This change means for those who claim Universal Credit, all funds will be paid directly to them, making them responsible for their own financial arrangements – including paying rent directly paid to their housing provider.
To bring these changes to the attention of the community, CVCH took this opportunity to host a guidance and family fun day on Thursday 16th August including food, music, information stands, boxing, raffles, face-painting and a bouncy castle.
Visitors to the UC Roadshow in Castle Vale were able to brush up on their financial knowledge, and discover how the new change could affect those who currently claim benefits whilst enjoying a great day out with the family.
Other organisations also joined in the summer fun, including Compass Support, Stockland Green Opportunity Housing & Training, Pioneer Places, Spitfire Services, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Police and Pets as Therapy – whose attendance was a huge success with the local residents.
Among the guests was local Councillor, Suzanne Webb. She was on hand to see how CVCH could help advise tenants and how best to manage their finances to ensure their rental accounts don’t end up in arrears.
Michelle Tomlinson, Income Officer at CVCH, who organised the event added:
We wanted to show people that while there is a big change to how housing benefits (among others) are paid, it’s not something to be alarmed about. While it may be a new experience to manage your own rent payments, there are simple ways to organise your income, along with a various support services in place to help if you ever need advice. Here at CVCH, we would personally recommend an automatic bank payment method (either Direct Debit or Standing Order) which eliminates the pressures of arranging your own payments month by month.
August’s UC Roadshow might be over for this summer, but another family fun event will be making a return appearance this upcoming winter. In the meantime, if you’re a CVCH tenant who needs further advice on Universal Credit, you can get in touch with their customer 1st team on 0121 748 8100.
For more information about the event, please click here.