Back to school costs advice for Housing Executive tenants

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News of a collaboration which could benefit thousands of Derry families who are struggling financially has been announced.

In a timely move, the Housing Executive and Citizens’ Advice Bureau have joined forces to help local families who are struggling with the costs of going back to school on top of other financial commitments.

Housing Executive tenants are now being offered a new free, impartial and confidential advice service through Citizens’ Advice.

As part of the new debt awareness service the Housing Executive is encouraging tenants to contact their local Citizens Advice for money management help and advice so that back to school won’t cost the earth.

As the summer rolls on to that ‘Back to School’ time, the cost of school uniforms once again comes to the fore. Last year a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that parents of primary school children on average spent £96 per child, while parents of secondary school children spent £180.

The Irish League of Credit Unions’ 2015 survey also found that six in ten parents admitted back to school costs would negatively impact household bill payments and family plans that summer with four in ten parents sacrificing having a holiday. Commenting on the figures, Housing Executive Area Manager, Avril McAllister, said:

“Over the years, thousands of our tenants have had a weight lifted from their shoulders by asking for help with their debt.

“We are delighted to be working with Citizens’ Advice so we can continue to help even more.

“The Housing Executive is calling on any of our tenants who feel they have money worries not to turn to moneylenders or suffer in silence but to call the Freephone number 0800 028 1881, it could make all the difference. No matter how large or how small the money worry is, it’s important to access this free advice as soon as possible.”

Kathy McKenna, Citizens’ Advice Debt Advice Service Manager said:

“Citizens’ Advice is here to help people find a way forward with their problems. Every year, we help thousands of people with money and debt problems, but we know that many more cannot get the help they need. We are delighted to be teaming up with the Housing Executive to promote our Debt Advice Service to their tenants.”