We're proactive in supporting residents experiencing financial difficulties. Our partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre helped 210 EastendHomes residents over the last 12 months with practical benefit and debt advice.
Aminoor Ali is a Tower Hamlets resident and Social Welfare Advisor based at the Bromley by Bow Centre.
As well as meeting residents at the Bromley by Bow Centre, he also visits EastendHomes offices to offer support and guidance to those experiencing financial difficulties. Since the welfare reforms and the introduction of the 'bedroom tax' he has seen a sharp increase in demand for the service he offers.
Although most residents are referred to Aminoor by EastendHomes he encourages people to proactively get in touch if they are worried about their finances. As his track record has shown there are practical solutions at hand. Aminoor explains more:
“When people are in debt it’s very understandable to get overwhelmed with where to start. So that’s where I come in. When we first meet, I work closely with them to get to know the individual and the issues they are experiencing. And then together we create an action plan that identifies;
- the root of the problem,
- which bills to prioritise,
- a realistic repayment plan
- and explores any benefits they may be entitled to.
Our journey together could be a few weeks or anything up to six months. The ultimate goal is to ensure the resident(s) gets back on track, stays in their home and feels in control of their finances. Eviction from their home would be a failure in my eyes.
Unfortunately the demand for this service is higher than ever. The recent benefit changes have hit a lot of people hard. Our partnership with EastendHomes means I’m helping a wide range of people from young families to older residents and carers of others. But we do know just a little bit of help will have a lasting impact."
Do you need any specific skills for your job?
"It’s helped to have my law background but it’s my interest in helping people and making a difference that has built a good knowledge of the broad range of services available to them. It’s incredibly rewarding to refer a resident to a service that will help their life further like an employment training scheme; or a local health initiative that focuses on their well-being.
One resident I recently supported couldn’t afford to heat her home and pay her rent when we first met. After putting her plan in action and exploring what benefits were available to her she is in a much better place both physically and mentally. In her words she can now “afford to live”. She has also found her depression and anxiety much more manageable since getting her finances sorted.
Time and time again it’s proven that financial worries can impact negatively on a person’s health and well being. The good news is there is a solution. A problem shared is a problem halved. So please do get in touch we have the expertise to help."