Bouncing back from debt: Shane's story

During COVID, Shane lost his job and fell into heavy debt to his landlord. His local EYH charity helped him get back on track. 

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Shane was referred to his local EYH charity in May 2019 for support through the Housing Fund. Shane had encountered a year of unstable housing, moving between friends and family, none of which worked out through no fault of his own. His place of work offered him accommodation for a short period while he looked for somewhere safe and stable to live. It was a struggle for Shane to find the upfront costs of moving into a rental property and a Landlord to accept him, but with the help of the Housing Fund he finally moved into accommodation a short while later.


Everything was going well until COVID-19 struck. Shane lost his job during the first lockdown; presenting a big challenge at an already difficult time. It was at this point that he got back in touch with his EYH charity to seek advice and support.

With no job, Shane had no income. He was now struggling with getting to grips with the benefits system, resulting in him falling into rent arrears of £2,000, eviction was imminent and Shane had no way to pay his bills, but we knew with the right support, advice and guidance he could get back on track. 

 

Shane was put in touch with a Tenancy Support Worker, Emma, at his EYH charity. Together they were able to locate and discuss his Universal Credit claim with the Manager at his local branch. 


In the meantime, we were able to keep his Landlord updated and Emma suggested that Shane completed a Universal Credit ‘Landlord Portal’ online to enable the Landlord to be paid directly from Universal Credit payments. She spent time with Shane showing him how to update his journal and the information he needed to add to the portal when job searching.


Shane was filled with relief when his Universal Credit issues were resolved. Not only was he paid his entitlement but also this was backdated to his first claim period and he was able to pay the total amount owed to his Landlord. In this short time, his rent arrears had gone from £2,400 to in credit by £180. Shane then set up a direct debt to pay his top-up rent.

 

Next to resolve was Shane’s energy bills. After incurring £801 of energy debt, Shane was shocked to discover his usage was £101 per month. Again, Shane’s support worker liaised with his energy supplier and they managed to agree a cheaper tariff, which would work for Shane as his finances began to take shape.

Shane is extremely happy with the support he has received from Emma, describing her as “a superhero”. The support workers at Shane’s EYH charity were proud help him and get him back on track for a brighter future.

You can help us support more young people like Shane overcome barriers to  safe and secure housing by donating to our housing fund here.