First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backs Wheatley’s new tenant support fund

£6M cost-of-living fund will support over 20,000 tenants.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the launch of Wheatley Group’s new £6m cost-of-living crisis fund

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has backed a new multi-million-pound fund from Wheatley Group to support over 20,000 tenants during the cost-of-living crisis.

The MSP for Glasgow Southside attended the official launch of the £6million fund by Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group.

The ‘Here for You’ fund will support tenants of Wheatley’s Registered Social Landlords – Wheatley Homes Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Dunedin Canmore, Loretto and WLHP – as well as tenants of Lowther Homes, which is Scotland’s largest private-rent property company.

With average household energy bills tipped to reach £5000 by January 2023 and inflation expected to be as high as 13% this year, Wheatley has acted quickly to put the new fund in place.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP attended the launch at the Pearce Institute in Govan in the southside of Glasgow and met tenants who will be helped by the ‘Here for You’ fund and other support services already offered by Wheatley.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Households are facing a cost-of-living crisis unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes, with the most vulnerable being hit the hardest. So it is vital that all those with the power and means to provide support do so.

“That’s why I’m so pleased to see the launch of Wheatley’s £6million cost-of-living crisis fund which I know will provide essential support for those who need it most.”

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wheatley has:

  • helped tenants claim £19.6m in welfare benefits;
  • distributed £2.4m in fuel vouchers and top-ups;
  • delivered 43,000 food parcels and vouchers;
  • helped 1200 customers get jobs, training or apprenticeship opportunities;
  • offered 182 education bursaries to help tenants go to college and university;
  • sent 13,000 free books to pre-school children to give them the best start in life; and
  • upcycled more than 4300 pieces of furniture and made them available free to tenants.

Wheatley Group Chair Jo Armstrong said: “We know these are extremely tough times – and with winter will only become tougher for tenants. That is why Wheatley, more than ever, is doing all we can to protect the people we work for across Scotland from the worst impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

“Our new ‘Here for You’ campaign and fund will support more than 20,000 people most badly affected in our communities across central and southern Scotland.

“‘Here for You’ will expand and strengthen further the support programmes Wheatley put in place throughout the pandemic. Programmes that we know – through hard experience – provide essential, vital support to people in need.”

Monday, August 22, 2022