‘My problems started when I got behind with my rent. I’d gone to Citizens Advice and was going through the process with them and then lockdown hit. My situation got worse and my landlord started threatening to take me to court with a possession order.
‘My solicitor recommended the Law Centre to me and they just stepped in and were absolutely fundamental in helping me – not just in the work they did in speaking with my creditors and sorting things out for me, but in the time that they gave me. It was absolutely overwhelming. I was embarrassed to explain my situation but the kindness and patience they showed me; I can’t put it into words.
‘Every problem I raised, Jaye had answers and showed me there was hope. She walked me through everything and gave me so much encouragement and help. I struggle with my mental health but she gave me the positivity that I could get through it. She was absolutely brilliant. I felt so much happier and that I could do things for myself.
‘I still have arrears of around £8,000 which is a huge thing for me. I’m of West Indian heritage and because of what happened in the 1950s, the fear of losing the roof over my head has an extra dynamic for me. I have to pay £70 a month towards my rent arrears, so losing the extra £20 a week from universal credit is going to make a big difference. I see a lot of mums and families struggling too. It’s going to impact us in a big way. We need to have you on our side. You treat us with such kindness and respect. You’ve been an absolute lifesaver to me. I can’t say how grateful I am.‘
Doreen is on Universal Credit and has rent arrears of approximately £7,770. We were able to apply for the Breathing Space scheme to help her manage her debts and also put in an application for a discretionary housing payment. At her possession hearing, the court ordered that she pays her full rent plus £70 per month towards rent arrears. By doing this she will be able to stay in her home.
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