We provide specialist holistic support to people at risk of homelessness

'From January - June 2023, our support workers have helped clients receive over £249,000 collectively.'

We provide specialist, holistic support to those at risk of homelessness in Coventry. This support includes benefit maximization, identifying charity grants, identifying support needs, as well as providing coaching to those who require support with their finances. 

In addition, our Specialist Mental Health Support Worker provides intensive, wraparound support for people with mental health issues to improve their health, finances and living conditions. The advisor works with the client to ensure they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to; secure appropriate accommodation; engage with landlords; encourage clients to engage with their medical support and help clients to feel comfortable and confident when accessing legal advice. 

Abram's Story

Abram lives with his young grandson, who was placed with him by social services, in a housing association property. He was facing eviction on mandatory grounds because he had built up very significant arrears due to a Housing Benefit overpayment which was recovered from his landlord. We represented him at court on the housing duty scheme and secured an adjournment (a suspension of court proceedings to another time or place) which allowed time for issues relating to his benefits and to repair difficulties at his home to be explored.

During the adjournment period, we assessed Abram’s financial situation and worked with the Council’s housing options team to secure a payment from the Homelessness Prevention fund that cleared the majority of the arrears and led the landlord to reconsider their position. Further exploration of the repairs issues resulted in the landlord agreeing that the remaining arrears should be cleared by a payment in settlement of Abram’s counterclaim for disrepair, and that the outstanding repairs to his home should be carried out within 4 weeks. He has, therefore, been able to keep his home and has had his rent debt reduced by well over £7,000. 

CELC Welfare Benefits Team are also supporting Abram regarding his bedroom tax liability. The bedroom tax refers to the reduction in a claimant’s Housing Benefit if they have a spare bedroom and they are rending a council or housing association property. The Welfare Benefits Team are currently trying to establish the case as to whether the child’s placement with Abram is a foster placement or as a kinship carer. Foster parents would be entitled to an extra bedroom and, therefore, Abram would not have to make any additional payments and this may lead to a backdated payment. If the placement is under as a kinship carer, Abram would possibly have to meet this cost from the payments he receives from the Local Authority. 

We also assisted Abram with applications to the Household Support Fund and to local charities to manage the increased cost of heating and electricity as a result of the Cost of Living Crisis. These grants will also provide him with a working cooker and clothes, shoes and bedding for him and his grandson. Through working with the Law Centre, Abram is better able to look after his grandson and maintain a safe, warm and clean home environment.