A housing association has managed to secure £26 million in extra income for its residents over the last five years.

Karbon Homes’ specialist Money Matters Team, which supports customers to maximise their income entitlements, have helped over 18,000 residents since 2018, including advising over 10,500 prior to accepting a tenancy and close to 16,000 with one-off advice.

The team have supported around 15,000 welfare benefits/rights cases and have provided help and advice for over 4,000 cases on financial wellbeing, debt and budgeting to residents who are at risk of losing essential services, facing imminent action from bailiffs or who need advice with urgent issues like council tax debt.

One Karbon resident was recently referred to the team by their housing officer, after explaining they had been struggling with the cost of living.

The team were able to identify that the resident had been incorrectly receiving a bedroom tax deduction on their universal credit entitlement. The bedroom tax was successfully removed, they were reimbursed for previous deductions and an additional £59.41 per month extra on their UC.

The resident said: “They were friendly and dealt with my case quickly and professionally. Without speaking with them I wouldn’t have known I was paying the bedroom tax.

“Having the reimbursement and extra money every month is great and reassuring that I can cover my bills every month.

“The team also explained how I can access emergency help in the future if I find myself struggling, which is reassuring if I ever do need it.”

Lee Forrest, Money Matters Team manager, said: “For the past five years the Money Matters team have been on hand to help our customers – no matter how big or small the case.

“The income gained for customers is huge – but being able to help customers manage their money goes so much further than this, especially when the struggle with the cost of living is only increasing.”