Some of Midlothian’s most vulnerable residents are set to benefit from a project focusing on preventing debt and managing household budgets.
The environmental charity Changeworks will deliver the ‘Canny Tenants’ project over the next five years to 1,050 residents in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders in partnership with Eildon Housing Association, Melville Housing Association and Midlothian Council.
Thanks to a £494,180 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, the project aims to bring about positive change for local people in the greatest need. This includes people who are in debt as well as older people and those who have been homeless or in care.
Sam Mills, Head of Projects at Changeworks, said, “We are delighted to be awarded this funding which will enable us to support people before they have to make heat or eat choices. Canny Tenants will focus on giving tenants the skills to prevent debt by better managing their heating, electricity and food costs and budgets.
“Working closely with our partners, we will offer each of their new tenants the opportunity to receive Canny Tenants support and advice. A wide range of support will be available from home visits, budget management training and one to one advice.
“We’re excited and looking forward to be working with our partners to help make tenants’ confident in managing their heating, electricity and food costs to ensure the best start in their new home.”
The project is currently in the set-up phase and is expected to start in the new year.
Councillor Catherine Johnstone (SNP), leader of Midlothian Council, said “I am really pleased that the Big Lottery Fund has chosen to support this project which will benefit some the most vulnerable tenants in Midlothian. The Canny Tenants’ Project will help tenants on a low income to eat well and stay warm in their homes.”
Melville Chief Executive Andrew Noble said: “Fuel poverty and the sky-high cost of home energy remains a chronic problem for many of our customers. So this help from Changeworks, which is available to all new Melville tenants, will be extremely valuable.”