Since the changes in housing benefit and the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ Fair Money Advice have advised many debt clients around this issue. Fair Money’s clients often have rent arrears due to this tax and this can lead to other problems such as depression when dealing with debt. Leila (not her real name) was in a complicated position in her life when she turned to Fair Money Advice for guidance regarding her rent arrears because of bedroom tax.
Leila had recently separated from her partner but due to their financial situation and her and her four children’s dependence on him they were still living at the same address but in different rooms. Leila was badly hit by the bedroom tax which led to further hardship in her life including having to visit the food bank to feed her children and her children having to go out in ripped shoes in the cold weather because she couldn't afford new ones.
To add to her struggle Leila was also partially sighted and due to this and her turbulent personal life it originally took six appointments for her to eventually come to the office and receive advice. The client also expressed her shame that she felt she had not been able to adequately provide for her children.
Fair Money Advice helped Leila with her budgeting and set up affordable payments for her rent arrears. Thanks to our support and advice Leila now feels she will be able to maintain her payments and will be able to manage her budget and be able to provide for her children.
Changes in benefits can greatly affect recipients especially those such as Leila who have other personal issues to deal with. There are many reasons people get into debt and we will be sharing with you our client’s stories so check back to learn more about people’s situations in debt.