Struggling householders can now get help from two new specialist housing advisers as a result of a strategic partnership launched today between Shelter Scotland and Citizens Advice Direct (Citizens Advice Direct is the Scottish CAB service’s telephone advice-line).
Shelter’s advice service will offer specialist consultancy support for Citizens Advice Direct on specific housing and homelessness issues – ensuring a more complete and effective solution for callers.
Shelter Scotland says the partnership arrangement is a very cost-effective and direct way of helping more people facing housing difficulties.
Launching the service, Alison Watson, Head of Services at Shelter Scotland, said:
“The Housing Advice Line is being launched against the background of an increase in calls taken by Citizens Advice Direct on specific housing issues which their advisers don’t necessarily have the expertise to deal with. This service will enable their advisers to contact the new advisers directly who will then be able to offer the specialised help many callers need.
“We look forward to a successful and fruitful partnership with Citizens Advice Direct and being able to help even more people with their housing needs.”
Housing Minister, Margaret Burgess, said:
“The Housing Advice Line project, which is part-funded through the Scottish Government’s Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme, is a vital service which will provide specialist support and consultancy to Citizen Advice Direct (CAD) advisors allowing them to will give individuals a higher level of housing advice.
“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting vulnerable households, in particular those at risk of becoming homeless, and the introduction of the Housing Advice Line will help individuals access specific advice on housing and homelessness issues through CAD.
“In December 2012 landmark legislation came into force in Scotland which has put us at the forefront in Europe in establishing housing rights for homeless people, but as well as providing housing we need a concerted effort to prevent homelessness before it occurs, which is where services such as this come in.”
Citizens Advice Direct Scotland Chief Executive, Andrew Bartlett, said:
“We will help 85,000 people across Scotland this year who need help and advice across a whole range of issues. Our new relationship with Shelter Scotland allows our volunteer advisors to access rapid and expert assistance when they are confronted with complex or crisis housing issues, ensuring that vulnerable people get the help they need.”
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
1. Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview - call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
Citizens Advice Direct is a provider of advice and information to the citizens of Scotland. We work in partnership with a network of national organisations, meaning we can provide advice quickly and easily on a wide range of issues such as debt, employment, welfare and consumer advice. Calls to Citizens Advice Direct are free from landlines and most mobiles – please call 0808 800 9060.