A new partnership has been formed between a respected Scottish social landlord and a housing charity to help promote sustainable tenancies across the country.
The collaboration between Shelter Scotland and pioneering experts in housing and care, Blackwood, is set to offer practical solutions to help tenants handle their finances and crucially prevent mounting debts.
In austere times, Shelter are stepping in to offer free and impartial advice to help Blackwood’s tenants navigate the recent raft of complex welfare reforms and offer tips on how best to budget.
Colleen Robertson, Marketing Manager at Blackwood, said, “It’s fantastic to have Shelter on board to work with both our tenants and staff to help them fully understand what benefits people living in our developments are entitled to.
“Coupled with the fact that many of our customers live with disabilities it can be particularly difficult for them to access the information they need to help manage their finances.
“Shelter’s support will therefore be invaluable in helping to break down barriers and assist our tenants as to how to maximise their income by sign posting what’s available to them.
“It’s critical to Blackwood that we take responsibility in helping our tenants maintain their tenancy and prevent them falling into arrears and we believe that our latest collaboration with Shelter will go a long way in helping to achieve this.”
The help on offer from Shelter will be specially tailored to suit the needs of each individual they strive to advise. This means that support will be delivered in the most appropriate method for the person, be it face-to-face, by telephone, on-line or home visit.
With many Blackwood tenants living in bespoke properties, adapted to cater to their disability or impairment it is vital that they receive as much support as possible to avoid the upheaval and anxiety a move from their home would cause.
Alison Watson, Head of Services at Shelter Scotland, said: “A place to call home is an important part of all of our lives.
“As such we are delighted to be working with Blackwood to ensure that their tenants have access to expert welfare rights and financial advice to support their independence and help them live their lives to the full.”
Headquartered in state of the art, wheelchair friendly offices in Edinburgh, Blackwood has over 350 staff throughout the country and a range of properties kitted out with the latest in bespoke features to help make the lives of its disabled customers easier.
This includes a range of adaptations from minor alterations such as fitting grab rails or easy-to-use lever taps to bigger projects such as installing level access showers and ‘rise and fall kitchens’ to improve the quality of life of its customers.
Working in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, Blackwood is more widely dispersed than any other care or housing provider and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.
With over 1600 homes throughout the country it is a leader in helping those who are disabled, elderly or living with sensory impairments live more independently.