Money Advice

Contents

How we can help

We want to make sure that you can get help to manage your money and have access to basic financial services – this is known as financial inclusion.

Before your tenancy starts

We look at the real cost of your tenancy, so you know how much money you will need to pay your rent, council tax and other bills.

Increasing your income

For information about the benefits you may be entitled to, including money to pay your rent click on ‘Benefits’.

Debt advice

We work with the Citizens Advice, National Debt Helpline, Colchester CMA Debt Centre and Payplan and can refer you to them for free advice.

Borrowing

Beware of doorstep lenders and loan sharks (illegal lenders) – as you usually pay very high interest rates. To help you avoid this, we have an agreement with the Colchester Credit Union. Credit Unions are non-profit organisations that provide affordable loans and offer bill paying and savings services to you. Colchester Borough Homes will pay the joining fee for Colchester Borough Homes’ tenants.

Reducing costs

For information on how to reduce your energy bills visit our Energy Saving Page.

We also promote low cost home contents insurance with Royal Sun Alliance. Please ask us for the leaflet and application form which provides further details including costs.

You can often save money by buying online or setting up direct debits. We may be able to help you apply for a bank account if you need one.

 

Looking for Work

For information and support in looking for work click on ‘Find a job service’.

Signpost

Signpost are a voluntary organisation based above Greenstead Library, with over 25 years’ experience of helping people of all ages and backgrounds to get back to work, or improve their digital skills.

They are open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 3.30pm

Need free impartial advice on financial matters?

Our Financial Inclusion Team are here to help

If you need help and guidance on opening a bank account, making a claim for Housing Benefit, Local Council Tax Support, Universal Credit or any other benefit, then Colchester Borough Homes’ Financial Inclusion Team (FIT) can help.

The team are on hand to offer friendly advice on all kinds of financial matters including:

  • advice about Housing Benefit claims and Local Council Tax Support claims
  • advice on how to claim welfare benefits
  • support with completing benefit paperwork
  • offering help to open a basic bank account
  • offering advice to maximise income
  • supporting Gateway to Homechoice applications to downsize
  • supporting tenants who are in rent arrears and struggling to pay their rent
  • making referrals to Colchester Foodbank
  • liaising with Property Services to provide energy efficient homes for tenants

If you have a question or need advice please email the team at FIT@cbhomes.org.uk

 

Jigna Marzell

Financial Inclusion Officer

Help with financial support, welfare reform and bank accounts

Neil Wilks

Housing Benefits Officer

Help and advice with Housing Benefit and LCTS enquiries

Claire Cunningham

Welfare Rights Officer

Help and support with welfare rights and benefits

Struggling to pay your Gas, Electric and Water bills? Or have debt with your energy provider?

The Green Doctors can help you.

Struggling to pay your Gas, Electric and Water bills? Or have debt with your energy provider?

The Green Doctors can help you.

Groundwork’s Green Doctor is an energy efficiency expert visits homes in Colchester, helping households to save money and stay warm and well. With 1 in 10 households in the UK experiencing fuel poverty, it’s a crucial lifeline for many residents.

The Green Doctors works with utility companies, housing associations and local authorities to support programmes aimed at reducing wasted energy, saving energy and water and cutting the number of households in fuel poverty. Green Doctors help people to save money and resources.

  • Support available from Green Doctors:
  • Identifying causes of heat loss in your home.
  • Helping identify and tackle damp or mould problems.
  • Offering useful tips for saving energy and water whilst ensuring your home stays safe and comfortable.
  • Installing small energy and water efficiency measures, such as draft excluders.
  • Supporting you to switch energy providers to save money.
  • Supporting you to access other support, such as emergency heating, government subsidies or grants, advice on energy or water debt.

They don’t just offer advice, they take practical action too, from fitting water conservation measures to helping people fill in forms to apply for grants or switch energy providers.

To find out how the Green Doctors could help you, please click on the link below.

https://www.groundwork.org.uk/cadent-foundation-green-doctor/

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