A single mum and her 9-year-old child were saved from eviction after support from bpha’s money advice team resulted in their rent arrears being cleared.
The 35-year-old mum, who is a bpha tenant and wishes to remain anonymous, suffers from mental health issues and experienced domestic violence from the child’s father several years ago.
He was living in their two-bedroom property in Bedford with them when the violence started and she was regularly beaten and badly injured.
As a result the woman succeeded in getting a two-year injunction put on her ex-partner to stay away from her and her child, but health issues meant she could not properly manage her finances.
Earlier this year she visited bpha’s money advice team in rent arrears of £6,334 because she couldn’t afford to pay anything towards the large arrears and was at the stage of eviction.
She positively started working with the team, who looked at her budget and her financial situation in detail.
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) application – an extra payment to help people who claim housing benefit and are struggling to pay the rent – was completed for her, with a detailed explanation of her situation and why she requires this type of help.
And a DHP decision was made to award her £6,131 as a one-off payment to clear her rent arrears.
The 35-year-old said: “When I found out that the rent arrears were being cleared I was so happy, I felt like we had won the lottery.
“It meant that we could not only avoid eviction but also really help us to manage our finances in the future.
“I would urge any tenants who have experienced similar problems to us to contact bpha’s money advice team and see how they may be able to help and support you.”
Julie Wittich, Director of Service Delivery at bpha, said: “Over a long period this tenant’s health issues meant that she struggled to manage her tenancy and therefore her arrears started to increase.
“However our money advice team were able to advise and support her with a DHP application that resulted in her being able to stay in the property and help her get back on her feet from a financial perspective. We encourage any of our tenants who find themselves in similar positions to please contact us and see how our team may be able to help.”