Thousands of customers helped to secure cost of living support worth £9.7million

We’ve helped thousands of customers to secure more than £9million in financial support in 2023/24.
New Homes (2)
We've helped thousands of customers to claim financial support
The cost of living crisis has put more pressure on customer finances and we’ve seen referrals to ‘money management’ increase by 44% in the past 12 months.

Our team of dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Officers (TSO) support around 2,000 customers each year to give them the best chance to maintain their tenancy and prevent unnecessary evictions.

They have in-depth knowledge of local and central grants and benefits, including universal credit. They also have strong relationships with local authorities and charities to ensure customers have access to the relevant schemes.

In 2023/24 colleagues supported 2,245 customers to claim financial support worth £9.7 million, this included:

  • More than 1,000 successful benefit claims, including for housing Benefit, Universal Credit, and Council Tax Support
  • Achieving a 100% success rate at benefit tribunals, with payments totalling over £42,000
  • Providing access to grant and charitable funding worth more than £104,000 including furniture and white goods
  • Helping 42 customers in Spelthorne to furnish their new homes through our Flooring and Furniture project
  • Clearing the rent arrears of more than 30 families at risk of losing their home by claiming an average of £1,500 through the Local Authority Household Support Fund.
Richard Bampton, Head of Income, said: “Increases to the cost of living have had a huge impact on many of our customers. We have seen a 44% increase in referrals from customers wanting help with money management.

“Last year, we helped customers gain a record £9.7m. This included providing food vouchers and home essentials for those in crisis. We know the benefit system can be difficult to navigate. That’s why we have our specialist team of advisors who are on hand to provide advice and support.”

We helped clear £40,000 rent arrears for over-50s customers

Paul Warner, who works in our Tenancy Sustainment Team, supported a group of customers to gain almost £40,000 towards rent arrears and backdated payments to them. They had fallen into debt because their housing benefit had been incorrectly suspended.

Some of the residents felt overwhelmed by the situation and were struggling. This meant they were unable to open post or respond to calls.

Paul visited the customers in their homes to talk to them and provide reassurance. He investigated what happened and worked with the local councils to ensure their housing benefit was re-instated and backdated, clearing the rent arrears in full.

Paul now visits our over 50s schemes regularly to provide financial guidance and benefit support to reduce the risk of similar issues happening again. It is valued and appreciated by everyone who lives at the schemes.