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Advice event held for tenants in Brent hit by the ‘bedroom tax’

PUBLISHED: 11:30 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:49 04 February 2016

Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) held a financial advice session at Wembley's Civic Centre on Friday

Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) held a financial advice session at Wembley's Civic Centre on Friday

Archant

Council tenants feeling the pinch of the ‘bedroom tax’ and other changes to benefits payments headed to an event to ask housing chiefs for advice.

Staff from a number of citizens' advice organizations and banks were on hand to help residents manage their financesStaff from a number of citizens' advice organizations and banks were on hand to help residents manage their finances

Nearly 100 people packed into Brent Civic Centre in Engineer’s Way, Wembley, for a dedicated advice session with Brent Council’s housing service and Brent Housing Partnership, on how to manage their household finances and deal with the impact of changes to welfare and housing benefits.

The day-long session offered residents worried about the ‘bedroom tax’ or spare room subsidy the chance to discuss the impact of the Government policy on their pockets.

The spare room subsidy requires some social housing tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit to pay a rent top-up for spare rooms in their properties.

A host of organisations including Brent Citizens Advice, Credit Union of Brent and Ealing, Brent Start and the Living Room project were on hand to give help to those concerned by personal debt, affordable credit and paying their fuel bills.

Staff from BHP’s financial inclusion team, which helps tenants in more than 12,500 council-owned properties in Brent, also gave residents practical advice on how to make their money go further and how to downsize if they are struggling to keep up with rent payments on spare rooms

Pauline Somers, BHP’s financial inclusion team manager, said: “January and February is always a difficult time financially especially after Christmas.

“We had some great feedback from attendees with many impressed with the support and guidance available for Brent residents.”

Residents looking to open a bank account were also able to talk to staff from Metro Bank, Natwest and Santander about the options available to them.”

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For advice on upcoming open days or for advice on how to manage finances click here.

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