We understand that many of our residents are faced with difficult choices on how to spend their money.
If any of the below applies to you, please contact us immediately to see how we can help:
- I can't pay my rent
- I can't heat my home
- I can't afford to buy enough food
- I don't have essential equipment at home
Support available to you
Call our free, confidential Tenant Support & Wellbeing helpline
We’ve funded a new Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service (TSWS) that’s free for you to call 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, to talk about anything you might be struggling with, including stress & anxiety, mental health, debt & budgeting advice, childcare & parenting challenges, sleeping problems and alcohol & drug issues.
Anything you discuss with the service DOES NOT get shared with or passed onto Eastlight. This service provides 100% confidentiality.
Call 0330 094 8845, or if you don't feel comfortable speaking to someone on the phone, then check out a library of articles, tip sheets and other help via the TSWS online portal here: www.tsws-assist.co.uk
Your login details are as follows: Username: eastlight Password: tenant
- Energy Price Guarantee
For households without a pre-payment meter, from October to December 2023, the price cap has been set at £1,834 for a typical household per year.
The Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place until the end of March 2024.
For households with pre-payment meters, from 1 October 2023, the discount will be delivered via a discount to the standing charges rather than the unit rate. This will ensure low usage customers are fully supported.
- Cost-of-Living Payments
If you received the previous cost-of-living payments, you should be receiving two further payments this winter. The first payment of £300 will be paid during autumn 2023, whilst the second payment of £299 will be paid during spring 2024.
- Winter Fuel Payments
In the winter months, pensioners can receive between £100 and £300 to help pay their heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £150 or £300 Pensioner Cost-of-Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
- Help to Heat
You may be eligible for grants to improve the energy efficiency of your home, which could help to reduce your energy bills. The Government is investing in energy efficiency schemes, which are being delivered by local authorities.
Foodbanks are available in your local area, if you cannot afford to buy food.
To get help from a foodbank, you will need to be referred with a voucher, which can be issued by a number of local community organisations, such as schools, GPs, advice agencies and Eastlight Community Homes. Your local foodbank can also advise which agencies can help.
When money is tight and households come under stress, people are often more vulnerable and open to finding money in new ways. While we recognise the risk is low, here are some vital ‘Watch Outs’ to protect both yourself and your family:
- Watch out for fake payment scams
Any emails, texts or alerts asking you to call or submit an application to receive any cost-of-living payment from the Government are not legitimate requests. You do not need to apply or do anything to receive these payments; you will receive them automatically. Please click here for government guidance or see our advice for spotting scammers.
The same applies for any Council Tax Rebate you may be entitled to. Please call your council directly and confirm the identity of anyone who gets in contact with you to ensure they are true callers.
- Watch out for fake gift cards
Don’t fall victim to free gift cards that might be circulating or landing in your inbox. Always check the email address of the sender and whether it is asking you to fill out a survey or provide any private information. If so, this is likely a scam.
- Watch out for loan sharks
Loan sharks can be anyone; they can even be someone you know or someone close to you. You can watch this video on how to spot a loan shark here.
The StopLoanSharks YouTube channel has countless stories and information to help you avoid getting into a vulnerable situation.
- Scam Advice
Criminals are taking advantage of the current crisis to advertise fake services or products that aim to exploit you financially or collect your personal information. They typically target people through emails, letters, phone or text, and succeed because they look and sound legitimate.
We have received reports that scammers are contacting our residents claiming to be solicitors specialising in disrepair and other cases related to housing.
Please consider the following if you have been contacted by someone asking for information from you:
- Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you have never met the person contacting you, or are unsure that the business is genuine, take some time to do some research.
- Check the spelling and grammar within emails, texts and letters. If it's a scam, it's often wrong.
- Check to see if you recognise the name, email address or telephone number of the person contacting you.
- Be alert to anyone asking for money or your bank details, and do not provide them with any information if you have any doubts.
- Be wary of any links and attachments. Never enter your personal information, password or bank details if you do mistakenly click on a link.
If you think someone is trying to defraud or scam you, please contact us immediately if it concerns your home.
Please also report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
A range of resources and advice is available for you
Please see below
Finding ways to cut back may be difficult. If it’s helpful to you, see below some resources which share the best ways to save money. There are even some freebies to collect to save on your monthly spend.
Warm Rooms and Spaces
Many of you may now be struggling to heat your home and urgently need somewhere to go. If it's useful to you, see below essential pages which share a varied list of Warm Rooms and Spaces across Essex. Please reach out to us if this is the case, and we will do what we can to help.