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Case study: Lisa

A tenancy sustainment case study

Our Tenancy Sustainment service has long been a lifeline for residents in need of financial support. Run by the L&Q Foundation, staff go to great lengths to help those facing financial hardship and in need of expert support.

Lisa*, a mum-of-one was referred to the Tenancy Sustainment Service to help get her rent payments back on track and maximise her income.

Lisa had experienced a period of ill health that left her unable to work at her job as a Gallery Assistant. She was hospitalised three times between August 2020 – January 2021 due to a complex health condition. After contracting Covid-19, Lisa was left in a coma for three weeks and is now living with long Covid and depression.

During this period, Lisa was unaware that her Statutory Sick Pay had ended, leaving her to survive solely on her child benefit and working tax credit. As she sank into debt, Lisa found herself struggling to afford food for her son.

After completing an initial assessment, Pauline from our Tenancy Sustainment team used her knowledge and experience to help Lisa navigate the system.

Pauline applied for a food voucher, Employment Support Allowance and a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on Lisa’s behalf and helped her complete a change of circumstances form for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

Thanks to Pauline’s support, Lisa was awarded backdated Employment Support Allowance and PIP, and an increase in Housing Benefit on top of another backdated payment.

Pauline also supported Lisa to contact her energy suppliers and apply for utility discounts. Signing up to schemes including Thames Water Help and L&Q’s Warm Discount fund has reduced Lisa’s annual water bill by 50 per cent and gas and electric bills by £140.

Support from L&Q’s Tenancy Sustainment team has taken a weight off Lisa’s mind, allowing her to concentrate on her health and recovery. She has cleared the majority of her arrears and set up a rent repayment plan – benefiting overall from savings of over £18,000.

*Name has been changed to protect identity