Today is Scottish Housing Day and we are celebrating the value of social housing.
Our Tenancy Support Officers (TSOs) have a hugely wide-ranging role, providing crucial support to anyone who may be struggling to maintain a tenancy – for a range of reasons.
Here we look at just some of the work that TSOs have been doing, particularly during the past few months during lockdown and beyond.
We won’t use any names, and circumstances have been changed slightly to protect the identity of our tenants.
One TSO told us about the support she provided to a teenager who had been brought up by a grandparent who sadly passed away and he then succeeded to the tenancy of the two bedroom property. Unfortunately, the teenager had no support network so problems quickly arose including the house being in poor condition, high rent arrears and lack of money for essentials such as food. In addition the teenager was being taken advantage of by others.
The TSO stepped in and was able to support the tenant to maximise income through benefits and grants to help with food and energy bills.
The TSO was able to work with other council services to find employment for the teenager as well as sourcing a laptop through Connected Scotland to help with future work and studies.
Ultimately, the TSO was able to arrange a property exchange which meant the teenager could move to a smaller property, with less rent and bills so the future is now looking bright. Support was also arranged for the house move and sourcing of a decorating pack so the teenager could decorate their new home.
This is just one example of a really positive outcome. TSOs have also told us about:
- Putting in place benefits and a care package plus financial help for a young woman with learning difficulties who succeeded to a tenancy after the death of a relative. Support included help with bins, gardening, a bus pass and leisure pass, followed by a move to a more suitable property
- Sourcing laptops and mobile devices through Connected Scotland to help tenants get online to access benefits, advice and to keep in touch with friends & family during lockdown.
- Working with local resilience teams during lockdown to help tenants who needed extra support – one TSO described community volunteers as ‘little angels for many of our tenants – nothing was too much trouble, they offered companionship for isolated folk, delivered hot meals for people who were shielding and even sourced colouring-in materials to keep the little ones busy’.
We hope this gives you a picture of just how much support our teams provide. If you need more information on tenancy support, visit the housing pages on our website or call on 01620 827827.