Housing chiefs looking at ways to help South Tyneside tenants cope with cost of living crisis

Housing chiefs in South Tyneside have set up a working group to look at ways in which residents can be provided with additional support to help deal with the cost of living crisis.

It came as bosses from South Tyneside Homes acknowledged “all of us” would be facing financial pressures linked to issues such as increased bills and inflation in the coming months.

Therefore the arms length organisation, which manages South Tyneside Council homes, will be taking numerous steps to try and support residents.

Michelle Cutler, area manager, speaking at the latest East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum on Thursday, September 1, said this will include collaborative working and action plans being set up.

Households are facing a difficult winter. Picture: John Devlin

She said: “We know that the next few months are going to be particularly challenging for residents.

“We are looking at as many support options that are available for tenants and providing information around strategies which will assist in terms of that cost of living crisis that I think all of us will be faced with over the next few months.

“We have set up a cost of living working group, and that is made up of a number of representatives from across South Tyneside Homes, to devise and deliver an action plan to provide additional support to customers throughout this period.”

She added July saw a “record number of applications” for financial support to the organisation, 331 compared to 280 in June, which they expect will “continue in the coming months”.

The meeting heard the organisation already has “prevention and early intervention” plans in place for those struggling with rent arrears.

Last month political leaders in South Tyneside warned there would be “some huge challenges coming up in the coming months in particular” as they backed a new set of measures to help tackle poverty across the borough.

It came as the ruling cabinet endorsed the final set of recommendations as part of the area’s Poverty Commission, which has been drawn up following in-depth investigations over the past two years.

The last seven pledges added to the previous 22 already endorsed by councillors and looked at how the local authority can ensure it does all it can to help those in need.