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1 Cost of Living

Cost of Living Crisis | Story #3

Chris Sampson, Tenancy Sustainment team leader at Cross Keys Homes, writes about the reality of the cost-of-living crisis.

"Residents, already struggling before the pandemic, are now slowly recovering from the impact of the breakdown in support structures and systems, reduced access to health care services, acute isolation, increased risk of domestic abuse and economic insecurity. And now, they are now facing further increased poverty due to the cost-of-living crisis.

"We support individuals through a variety of methods including money advice,  access to grants, mental health support, signposting and opportunities for employment, however, despite the help we offer, it’s clear that circumstances are becoming increasingly challenging for many.

"We are seeing many more residents choosing between ‘heating and eating’; a situation we expect only to worsen as winter arrives. Consequently, we have seen a sustained increase in the issuing of food support vouchers, in addition to referrals to the Housing Support Grant for support with energy costs. We have seen residents maxing out benefit advances, their overdrafts ( incurring charges), and  increased emergency credit on utility meters pushing them further in to debt.

"For those who already struggle, resilience to manage is dramatically lowered when a financial shock arrives, such as a broken white good (if they owned one in the first place). Residents are creative in managing their situations, such as the young person who already receives a lower entitlement due to age, doing laundry at the parental home, and older people working into their 70s, scared that they cannot afford to give up work."

Issued 07/06/22