Column by Mattie Ross, Chair of Stroud District Council’s housing committee. 

THE current Cost of Living crisis is a worry for many of us.

Stroud District Council owns and manages around 5,000 homes which makes us the largest landlord in Gloucestershire, and our housing officers hear first-hand how many of our tenants are facing financial worries.

In order to help those in genuine financial difficulties housing committee has approved a £20,000 budget to create and deliver a new Tenant Support Fund, to be used by those who are in genuine financial hardship, which will be discussed at next week’s meeting.

The payments will be restricted to one payment per financial year, up to a maximum of £1,500 with the aim of ensuring tenants are supported to maintain their rent and service charge payments, or support long term financial improvements.

Whilst the introduction of this fund is not a legal requirement, it represents best practice and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our tenants are provided with advice and support to enable them to overcome financial difficulties.

Another initiative our housing officers have organised for tenants is a Christmas wellbeing event.

Supported by Longfield Hospice, participants will take part in practical workshops to help them make their budgets stretch over the costly Christmas period. Sessions will include sharing money saving meal ideas, and budgeting tips.

Details will be shared on the SDC website and social media accounts, but those who are not digitally connected can phone the tenant engagement team on 07970 957611 for details.