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Metropolitan awarded £1 million Lottery funding...

22 August 2012

For community finance project.

Big Lottery has awarded Metropolitan and its partners a £1 million bid to help young tenants in Lambeth who are concerned about budgeting and paying their bills to manage their finances. The news comes at a time when Metropolitan, along with social housing providers across the country, looks for ways to manage the impact of the upcoming welfare reforms.

Metropolitan has been awarded £999,996 of Lottery funding to carry out its Financial Advice and Confidence Education (FACE) project in Lambeth, which is one of the most deprived boroughs in London. The project will consist of a combination of one-to-one support, group sessions, peer mentoring and online tools. Over a five year period, the project aims to have 70 per cent of tenants reduce or avoid arrears and 80 per cent sustain their tenancies.

Aniekan Umoren, Customer Services Director at Metropolitan, said: “Being awarded the bid couldn’t have come at a more crucial time as welfare reforms will introduce the concept of universal credit meaning tenants will need to manage their benefits and pay rent directly to the housing provider. During initial research it was found that a high number of 16-24 year old tenants worried about budgeting and paying bills. Half of potential beneficiaries were concerned about living within their income, paying back debt and saving for the future. The FACE programme will be invaluable in managing the impact of welfare reforms in Lambeth.”

The FACE project will use innovative ways such as training up volunteer Money Mentors and setting up an online chat room, to give young people the skills and confidence the need to manage their finances.

A number of partners jointly submitted the bid and will work together to carry out the FACE project including Metropolitan, Merton & Lambeth Citizens Advice Bureau, Lambeth Living, Community Trust Housing, The Borough of Lambeth and Mybnk.

Sandra Ferguson, Head of Community Regeneration at Metropolitan added: “Metropolitan and its partners in this project are committed to working together to support young tenants in managing their finances. We are delighted to receive the funding from Big Lottery Fund to support our tenants in Lambeth.”

Metropolitan was also pleased to hear that the other bids it has been involved with in Haringey, Hackney and Nottingham, were also successful in securing Big Lottery funding. These projects will focus on improving the financial confidence of all new tenants in the area, those who are in and out of work and 16-24 year old tenants.

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