In the last issue of echo we informed you of the
Government’s announcement that, starting from April
2016, housing association rents will be reduced by one
per cent each year for the next four years.
At the beginning of March we sent letters to all our
residents telling them what their new rent charge will be.
Please read your letter carefully and adjust your
The reduction in rent only applies to tenants of rented
homes. It does not affect shared owners.
Your rent changes
Help with debt
Details of changes to service charges are also included
in the letter.
If you receive Housing Benefit, you must also
notify your local council so they can update your
If you receive Universal Credit, please contact us
on 0300 123 6000 to review your payment.
You can also call this number if you have any questions
about the one per cent reductions, or visit our websitewww.emhhomes.org.uk
for more information.
Tax Help For Older People is a charity that provides free
professional help, mainly to older people with incomes up
Its professional advisers offer support and guidance
on personal tax by phone, post or email. For more
complex issues face-to-face meetings can be arranged
with a local volunteer adviser.
Tax doesn’t need
to be taxing
Are you over 60 and need a helping hand with your personal taxes?
If you are caring for an eligible older person you may
also request help on their behalf. You do not need power
of attorney to do this.
To find out if the charity can help you, please call
0845 601 3321 / 01308 488066 or visitwww.taxvol.org.uk
If you are worried about being in debt, support is
available. Miss Smith’s [not her real name] story shows
how the Citizens Advice Bureau can help.
39-year-old Miss Smith lived by herself in a one-bedroom
emh homes property. Because of problems with anxiety,
depression and chronic pain, she was unable to work
and was receiving £73.10 per week Job Seekers
Allowance. Since she had not claimed any other
benefits, she had fallen behind with her rent, council tax
and water payments, and was having to rely on financial
help from family and friends, plus donations from a local
“I felt like everything was just getting out of
control, I couldn’t see a way out, so I just
stuck my head in the sand, which only made
the situation worse.”
But she then contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau. Their
free service helped Miss Smith to make a successful claim
for Housing and Council Tax Benefit, which has boosted
her income by more than £4,500 a year.
She has now made agreements to pay off her
arrears, and has set up Direct Debits to make the
“Without the support of the Citizens Advice
Bureau, I don’t think I would have ever got
myself out of debt. I’m so much happier now
and can start to get my life back on track.”
To find out how the Citizens Advice Bureau could
help you, visitwww.citizensadvice.org.uk