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Universal Credit: Working to support you

Welfare advisors from Ocean Housing are working from local job centres in a bid to help those struggling with the introduction of Universal Credit.

Universal Credit replaces six weekly and fortnightly benefits – including job seekers allowance, tax credits and housing benefit – with one monthly payment.

A phased introduction started in 2013 and more than 300 Ocean Housing customers currently receive the new benefit.

To help our customers make the transition to a monthly budget as smoothly as possible, two of our Welfare Advisors, Gemma and Rebecca, now work from job centres once a fortnight.

Gemma is based at St Austell job centre every other Thursday and Rebecca is in Newquay on alternate Mondays.

Gemma and Rebecca are holding fortnightly drop-in sessions for Ocean customers in local job centres

This allows them to offer more one-to-one support for our customers and – thanks to our strong working relationship with our local Department for Work and Pensions colleagues – grants the pair immediate access to the information they need to help our residents.

Rebecca and Gemma can also help with other welfare queries, such as bedroom tax, the benefits cap, Council Tax debt and water tariffs.

Sessions will initially be for drop-in advice but further home visits can be arranged where necessary.

The pair are a part of a specialist welfare team created by Ocean Housing in readiness for the roll out of Universal Credit, aimed at supporting our customers through the application process.

For more information about Universal Credit click here.

Ocean Housing ‘saves Christmas’ for more than 100

Ocean Housing carried out more than 100 emergency repairs during the festive close-down period.

In a bid to ensure customers enjoyed a merry yuletide, we attended 114 jobs and took 128 telephone calls to our emergency service number between Friday, December 21 and Wednesday, January 2.

Of these, eight were attended on Christmas Day and two on New Year’s Day.

Chief Executive of Ocean Housing Group, Mark Gardner said: “I’m very grateful to colleagues who were on call out duty over the Christmas and New Year period, ensuring essential and urgent services continued to be delivered to our tenants and residents.”

Since April 2018, Ocean Housing has answered in excess of 31,888 calls and completed 6,829 day-to-day repairs with a customer satisfaction rating of 98.1 per cent.

For more information about our emergency repairs service click here.