£75,000 grant awarded to Letchworth volunteer-run credit union to tackle homelessness
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North Herts District Council has awarded a substantial grant to a Letchworth–based volunteer group to help them offer affordable loans to vulnerable residents.
Black Squirrel Credit Union, which has been based in Letchworth Garden City since its inception 18 years ago, will get £75,000 to help tackle homelessness in the district.
The volunteer-run Black Squirrel Credit Union works to help its members take control of their money by saving wisely, advising them to only borrow what they can afford and offering affordable loans to those most in need.
When residents repay these loans, the money is then reinvested back into the scheme, which is scheduled to run until March 2024.
Annually, the Black Squirrel Credit Union loans residents about half a million pounds, and serves as the only local credit union with an office located in the district.
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NHDC has been working with Black Squirrel Credit Union since 2010 to both prevent and relieve homelessness in the district.
Cllr Gary Grindal, NHDC’s executive member for housing and environmental health, said: “Due to the impact of COVID-19, more households are struggling to pay rent or finding it difficult to secure somewhere to live.
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“By providing this grant to the Black Squirrel Credit Union we hope that more households will be able access competitive loans and savings advice, so they can stay in their home.”
Cllr Sean Prendergast, NHDC’s Deputy executive member for housing and environmental health, said: “The Black Squirrel Credit Union has a proven track record when it comes to helping vulnerable people manage their limited finances and we encourage you to get in touch with them if you need support.”
Bernard Lovewell, the Black Squirrel Credit Union Treasurer said: “We are very pleased to be able to continue our successful partnership with NHDC which has helped to prevent homelessness for some hundreds of people over the past 10 years.
“Not only is this a cost effective way of providing this service but it enables NHDC to assist many more people.”
This funding has been allocated to NHDC by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in the form of a ring-fenced homelessness grant.
For more information about the Black Squirrel Credit Union please visit their website: bscu.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org