Housing and Property Committee Members met today (Wednesday 31 August) and agreed to fund two specialist advisors to help offer advice and support to tenants that are adversely affected by rising energy prices.
Housing and Property Committee chair, Cllr Glynis Sinclair said:
“Fuel poverty continues to rise across Highland due to the combined cost of living and energy crisis.
“Whilst the causes are out with the Council’s control, having energy advisors to assist tenants directly with specialist advice and provide access to external funding for financial support will be invaluable throughout the cost of living crisis.
“I would like to thank the Council Officers who continue to work tirelessly to provide support to tenants who are struggling and encourage those who haven’t asked about support options that they may be eligible for, to make contact with their local housing officer.”
To assist with more specialist energy advice support, Highland Council are in discussion with AliEnergy, an advice charity who are currently assisting Lochaber tenants through a referral process via the local Housing Team.
To extend this scheme Highland-wide, two energy advisors employed by AliEnergy, with be based in North and South Highland.
The cost will be around £80,000, for the two positions for the duration of one year, which was agreed today by Housing and Property Members and will be met within the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2022/23.
Today Members also agreed in principle to increase the proposed funding to £160,000.
Housing Officers will investigate the potential to appoint additional energy advisors using this extra funding and will report back to a future Committee on progress.
Housing Officers remain supportive and sympathetic to all tenants facing financial hardship at this time and continue to signpost tenants to partner services who can provide specialist advice relating to income maximisation and benefits uptake.
Welfare support and partner services contact details can be found here