Charities team up to help older people in Western Isles solve housing problems

Age Scotland and Shelter Scotland have joined forces to ensure older residents in Western Isles have better access to expert information and advice on housing. Callers to the Age Scotland Helpline – 0845 125 9732 – whose needs include help with housing problems such as rent or mortgage arrears, will now get assistance for them without additionally having to call Shelter Scotland.

The partnership aims to meet the needs of an increasing number of older people experiencing housing problems: more than 1000 people in Scotland of or above State Pension Age made homeless applications last year. Age Scotland Helpline advisors will be able to obtain specialist support from Shelter Scotland where necessary to answer enquiries.

Age Scotland Helpline manager Heather Smith said: “Many of the people who contact us, who are very often older people, but can also be their friends, families and carers, do so in the hope that we can help with a wide range of problems. They may have a housing issue, but perhaps also difficulties around managing on a low income, getting suitable care or feeling lonely and isolated. Our partnership with Shelter Scotland means that help for homeowners or tenants in Western Isles with such connected issues is now available through just one phone call.”

Alison Watson, Head of Services at Shelter Scotland, said: “At a time when increasing numbers of older people across Western Isles are struggling with their household finances, heating and keeping their home, it is vital that advice and support is readily available. Our advisors offer year-round advice in areas such as debt management, the impact of welfare reform and budgeting.

“By working with Age Scotland we believe we can help their advisors to deal with specific housing issues which they may not necessarily have the expertise to deal with, help more people to quickly access the help they need when they need it and support Age Scotland in their aim to improve later life for everyone in Scotland.”