We've supported tenants to claim more than £2.3m additional income

More than 6,800 tenants have benefited from free money and debt advice in Sunderland, thanks to the support of our Money Matters service.

Last year, the Group’s Money Matters service helped tenants to claim a staggering £1,578,091 in unclaimed benefits.

During what was and continues to be a challenging time for thousands of families in Sunderland, the Money Matters Team supported 977 tenants to make financial gains, claiming money they didn’t know they were entitled to.

The team also provided more than £34,000 in crisis funding to families across the city, to help with essentials such as gas and electric top-ups, urgent food shops and baby essentials, as well as supporting more than 5,920 tenants to utilise water discount schemes, with more than £760,000 in discounts being claimed.

Our Money Matters Team, which was launched in 2013 offers crucial financial and debt advice to its 60,000 tenants. The Group has specially trained, dedicated teams and have invested significantly in funds and grant schemes that are available to anyone who may need them.

Susie Thompson, Executive Director of Housing at Gentoo, said:

“Life is unpredictable. We understand that sometimes our tenants find themselves in financial crisis, through no fault of their own, and we are here to assist any tenant or leaseholder that needs us.

“We’re very proud to provide this free service to tenants and to have helped almost 7,000 tenants to make financial gains worth £2.4million in the year, is incredible. The teams do a brilliant job and make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of residents across Sunderland.”

The service, which employs a number of specialist advisors, offers support to some of the most financially vulnerable, by providing benefit checks, energy saving advice and budgeting assistance, as well as signposting to partners for debt advice.

Jean and Christopher are Gentoo tenants who received support from the Money Matters service last year. They said:

“We were struggling with our money, and we could only afford so much. We only had £40 to spend on our food.

“Gentoo helped us and filled in the forms, which we can’t do because we have a learning disability. They helped us to get more money and it’s made life a lot better.”

The service is not just for those in financial difficulty, the team also support those who have recently had a change in circumstances and may need guidance on how to move forward.

If you are a Gentoo tenant and would like to speak to a specialist Money Matters advisor about your finances, you can do so confidentially, by calling 0300 123 2004, or alternatively, tenants can email moneymatters@gentoogroup.com

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