Big Lottery Fund awards £31.7m to debt support schemes for social tenants

Thirty-seven organisations receive between £500,000 and £1m to provide financial guidance and develop skills

Debt support schemes have received Big Lottery Fund money
Debt support schemes have received Big Lottery Fund money

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £31.7m to 37 third sector organisations as part of an initiative to provide debt support to people living in social housing.

The projects supported by the Improving Financial Confidence programme have been awarded between £500,000 and £1m to help 150,000 social housing tenants become more financially aware and more confident in managing money, and to help them access a basic bank account and other financial services.

Most of the projects are run by either citizens advice bureaux or housing associations.

Four organisations received £1m, including East End Citizens Advice Bureau in London and City South Manchester Housing Trust.

The programme, which operates across England, is backed by the National Housing Federation, the umbrella body for social landlords, Citizens Advice, and the consumer advice website Money Saving Expert.

It will target people living in social housing after BLF research found that they were the worst affected by debt – in particular, young tenants, tenants moving in and out of work, and those in their first 12 months of tenancy.

Nat Sloane, chair of the Big Lottery Fund England, said: "We wanted to find a way to prevent debt from starting or getting worse for people and communities on very low income or benefits.

"Funding will ensure that social housing providers, advice providers and local authorities can work together to improve the financial confidence of communities most in need to lead fulfilling lives."

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