NHDC awards funding to the Black Squirrel Credit Union to tackle homelessness in North Herts

PR Date: 
Friday, 20 November 2020 - 2:30pm
 

NHDC awards funding to the Black Squirrel Credit Union to tackle homelessness in North Herts

North Herts District Council (NHDC) has awarded the Black Squirrel Credit Union a grant of £75,000 to enable it to offer affordable loans to vulnerable residents to help prevent and relieve homelessness in the district.

The funding has been allocated to NHDC by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in the form of a ring-fenced homelessness grant. When residents repay the loans, the money is then reinvested back into the scheme, which is scheduled to run until March 2024.

NHDC has worked successfully with the Black Squirrel Credit Union since 2010 in order to prevent and relieve homelessness. A not-for-profit volunteer run co-operative set up to support local people, it has been running for over 18 years, helping hundreds of local residents each year with affordable loans totalling in excess of £½m annually. It is also the only local credit union with an office located in the district.

Credit unions aim to help their members take control of their money by encouraging them to save what they can and borrow only what they can afford to repay.  They serve their members in a safe and responsible way and promote financial wellbeing.

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. 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.  In our experience many of the people we help in this way go on to enjoy the services we offer members with affordable loans and savings accounts.  For more information about the Black Squirrel Credit Union please check our website: www.bscu.org.uk or email: info@bscu.org.uk".

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