Supporting tenants nets council prize

(left to right): North Tyneside Council's financial inclusion manager Tony Jennings with Coun Paul Mason.
(left to right): North Tyneside Council's financial inclusion manager Tony Jennings with Coun Paul Mason.
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A COUNCIL service has received a regional award in recognition of the support it offers tenants.

North Tyneside Homes, which manages North Tyneside Council’s housing service, topped the Young Persons category at the annual SHINE (Showcasing Housing Initiatives in the North East) awards.

The team scooped the award for the support they offer to new tenants, under the age of 35, through their New Tenancy Support Project.

Tenants are visited by North Tyneside Homes’ financial inclusion team in the first six weeks of their new tenancy, during which they are offered financial advice and guidance.

A full benefit health check is also given to make sure tenants are receiving everything they are entitled to.

Since October 2010, 748 tenants have been contacted and helped to claim £224,000 in benefits they were entitled to but not claiming.

Coun Paul Mason, cabinet member for housing, said: “In tough financial times it is vital we do everything we can to help our residents.

“The New Tenancy Support Project provides support at an early stage and helps tenants get the benefits they are entitled to. It also gives them the knowledge and confidence to manage their finances more effectively.

“I am delighted with the news of the awards and the recognition that the strategies we have in place are having a positive impact on the lives of people in North Tyneside.”