Support with housing costs during the pandemic – James’ story
After being made redundant during the pandemic, James was supported by Clarion Housing Group to help cover his housing costs.
After being made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic, James struggled with basic essential and to pay housing costs. After speaking to Clarion, he was able to access support services that kept him afloat.
On Universal Credit for the first time
James, 51, lives alone with his son and was working as a Warehouse Manager when he was made redundant because of cutbacks made due to Covid-19 in the summer.
After being continuously employed for thirty-six years, he suddenly found himself having to claim Universal Credit for the first time, only to find the rent for his home wouldn’t be fully covered because of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ and non-dependent deductions. The shortfall meant he was struggling even with basic essentials such as food, electricity, and gas.
James said: “I have been working since the age of 15 so to suddenly found myself out of employment was a big shock. It was even more of a shock to discover the shortfall in the benefits I was entitled to and the actual cost of the rent for my home.
“It meant I was having to cut back on essentials, like food, and was starting to fall behind with my gas and electric bills because I simply couldn’t afford them. I had to make some difficult choices about which bills to pay and which to put off.”
“Clarion went above and beyond”
While discussing his rent situation, James found out about Clarion’s tenancy sustainment service and was referred to the team. The team supported James with an application for Discretionary Housing Payments – designed to help towards housing costs. While he was waiting for the application, the team also arranged for some food vouchers to alleviate the burden in the interim.
James said: “I was discussing my rent situation with Clarion and they told me about the support services they offer. I’ve been a Clarion resident for some time – as far as I was concerned, they were my landlord and that was it – I didn’t know they offered this type of help for people.
“Chris at Clarion went above and beyond to help me to get all the assistance I was entitled to. Without that help, my financial situation would have only got worse.”