More than £300,000 to help struggling Welwyn Hatfield homeowners

PUBLISHED: 06:21 06 October 2011

Roger Trigg

Roger Trigg

Archant

MORE than £300,000 of Government cash will be spent on improving private sector housing in deprived areas of Welwyn Hatfield over the next two years.

Welwyn Hatfield Council will splash £308,910 of Government grant money on three initiatives designed to help low income homeowners in areas of higher deprivation, including Peartree in WGC and Hatfield Central.

The council will pay the Citizens’ Advice Bureau £30,000 a year to provide a private sector renewal advisor for four days a week, who will provide advice and assistance to households, as well as identify eligible customers, assess their circumstances and direct them to financial assistance via the council’s grant aid.

The advisor will also provide advice on reducing fuel arrears, including welfare benefits and best fuel tariffs.

In addition, £75,000 will be spent on extending the Herts and Essex Energy Partnership, a scheme involving 15 local authorities, which helps with replacement boilers and free loft and cavity wall insulation for homeowners and private tenants aged over 70 or on income related welfare benefits.

The rest of the money will go towards boosting the council’s current capital budget, which enables private sector households on low incomes to have essential repairs and energy efficiency measures completed.

The plans were agreed by Welwyn Hatfield Council cabinet members on Tuesday.

Cllr Roger Trigg, executive member for housing and community, said: “We want to focus on putting the funds to use where they’re most needed – to identify the most vulnerable residents and provide them with the support they need.

“In this difficult financial climate, it was appropriate to make some of the funds available to recruit a CAB advisor to help and advise local residents about aspects of their energy usage and how to make savings.”


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