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St Albans District Council & St Albans District Credit Union to increase help for the homeless

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08 Dec 17

A grant of £500k is being given to tackle homelessness in the District. This new funding follows a Government decision earlier this year to change the way councils receive funding for homelessness prevention services.

The Council will be providing funding to St Albans Credit Union so people can access affordable loans for deposits and their first month’s rent.

Also the Council’s funding will help St Albans District Credit Union provide ‘jam jar’ savings accounts for tenants to set aside money to continue to meet their housing costs. So far, Council funding under this scheme has helped more than 200 people into accommodation since 2010.

Cllr Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Inclusion, for St Albans City and District Council said, “Demand for council housing is high and there is limited availability, so we are referring some people who are seeking housing assistance to the private rented sector. To make it easier for people to find privately rented homes, we are encouraging landlords to make their properties available through a new scheme. We are also providing funding to the credit union so people can access affordable loans for deposits and their first month’s rent.”

These ‘jam jar’ accounts are a reaction to the introduction of Universal Credit in the district, the Council has confirmed. Cllr Ellis said: “There are people who have difficulty managing their money and they want to prioritise keeping a roof over their heads.
These jam jar accounts seem a good way to do it.”

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