Tenants in Knowsley and Salford who are struggling with the cost of living are getting a helping hand from their landlord to make their house feel more like home.
Progressive landlord ForHousing, which owns and manages more than 24,000 homes across the North West, has been running its Tenant Welfare Fund for the past six years.
In light of the cost-of-living crisis, the landlord has recently almost doubled the funding pot from £11,000 to £21,000 to help more people.
Over the past 12 months, the fund has benefitted more than 100 ForHousing tenants, including 55 people in Knowsley and another 50 in Salford.
The funding is given out to people as grants of up to £350 to provide extra support, depending on what each person or family needs. That could be essentials such as furniture, white goods for tenants in a new home or even paying for a bus pass – which made all the difference for one mum who was struggling.
Now tenants like Paul, 59, who had been homeless for much of his life until now, are able to look forward to the year ahead with new hope.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Paul first became homeless at the age of 16. Since then, he has struggled with his mental health and has moved from place to place, often sleeping rough on the streets or sometimes in a tent.
Paul recently moved into Jackson Gardens, ForHousing’s state-of-the-art Extra Care facility in Stockbridge Village which provides expert support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Thanks to a £350 grant from the Tenant Welfare Fund which was used to buy a cooker, bed, bedding, TV, toaster and more, Paul now has a fully equipped flat with everything he needs.
“The ForHousing staff have helped me 100 percent. This is the best place I’ve ever lived, and I don’t feel so alone anymore.
“I don’t have much and was ready to sleep on the floor before I got my new bed – now I can get a good night’s sleep for the first time in a long time, and it’s helped my energy levels.
“Having a new TV has helped pass the time when I want to relax in my new home. The funding has really helped me, and I’d like to thank the staff at Jackson Gardens for all their support.”Paul
The Tenant Welfare Fund is open to all ForHousing tenants, and the team running the fund has made a point of ensuring the process is as simple as possible to ensure help can get to those that need it quickly.
“These small grants provide a lifeline to tenants like Paul that may be struggling to make ends meet.
“We understand the very real pressure many tenants are under to get by at the moment. Increasing the Tenant Welfare Fund is just one of the ways we are supporting tenants in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis as part of our wider commitment to improving people’s lives.
“We would urge any ForHousing tenant who is worried about their finances to get in touch with us and we’ll do all we can to help.”Martyn Hague, Executive Director of Customer
ForHousing also offers a LiveWell fund to all tenants in Salford, Oldham, Knowsley and Fylde who need help to meet a short-term need. For example, £90,000 of funding has been used to provide around 1,250 people with food parcels, essential furniture and help to pay energy bills so they can keep warm.
Launched last April, the fund has also paid for two new money advisors to give tenants support, helped local charity Mustard Tree to support people into employment and funded free counselling through emotional wellbeing charity Talk, Listen, Change.
And in Knowsley, a partnership between Knowsley Council saw the landlord secure £10,000 from the Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund to offer practical items, advice and support. ForHousing matched the funding, bringing the package of support to £20,000.
ForHousing is committed to helping tenants keep a roof over their heads. In 2021/2022, more than 400 tenants were supported to successfully stay in their homes thanks to advice from the landlord’s income team on how to access benefits, securing more than £1.6m in extra money for individual tenants. The income team also made more than 20,000 calls to provide support to tenants with their rent payments that year.
For more information, visit: https://www.forhousing.co.uk/money-matters/