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Resources for frontline staff responding to the Cost of Living Crisis

Resources for frontline staff responding to the Cost of Living Crisis

Resources for frontline staff responding to the Cost of Living Crisis

Monday, August 22, 2022

The cost of living crisis refers to the fall in ‘real’ disposable incomes, i.e. adjusted for inflation and after taxes and benefits (source: the Institute for Government). This has been taking place since late 2021, and last week the Office for National Statistics reported that inflation had hit 10.1% in the 12 months to July (source: BBC News).

Rising living costs are posing challenges for people trying to access and sustain accommodation. Below we highlight resources which may help frontline workers to support people affected by the cost of living crisis. Have you got other recommendations to add? Please get in touch frontline@stmartinscharity.org.uk.

In a recent newsletter, we asked frontline workers to share resources or ways of working that they could recommend to colleagues. Suggestions included:  

  1. "Benefit check to maximise income and claim all entitlements" - why not use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator? 
  2. Access available grants, for example "Sure Start Maternity grant for first child" - use the Grant Search to explore more options. 
  3. "Explore more flex with DHP, not just for people in receipt of benefits but for those with low income" - find out more about Discretionary Housing Payment. 
  4. "Look for exemptions from the benefit cap" - read more about who this affects.  
  5. And lastly, keep an eye out for schemes in your local area, for example "Severn Trent areas - Big Difference Scheme can cut water bills".  

At our Annual Conference earlier in the summer we were fortunate to be joined by colleagues Michael Clarke, Turn2Us; Dan Norris, Child Poverty Action Group and Zoe Titchener, Citizens Advice Coventry. In this 1.5 hour session, they shared practical advice and resources that frontline homelessness staff can refer to when supporting people experiencing homelessness, who are being impacted by the increased cost of living. You can view a recording of this session below.

Please note, unfortunately there is some background noise / distortion in the first 12 minutes of the video. This is resolved and the rest of the film is clear.

Finally, we encourage you to continue sharing your insights into current challenges and solutions related to homelessness and the cost of living crisis. This helps build understanding and influence the wider, systemic change that is needed. You can do this through taking part in consultations and attending Local Network events - if you'd like to stay in the loop, we share various opportunities and updates through our regular e-newsletter

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