Advice centre urges people to seek housing help early

Highlight House, St Leonards Road March 4th 2013 E10143P
Highlight House, St Leonards Road March 4th 2013 E10143P

An Eastbourne Advice centre has urged those facing housing and/or welfare benefit difficulties to seek advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

BHT Sussex Eastbourne Advice has seen an increase in the number of people delaying seeking advice until their situation is at a critical point.

Sue Hennell, BHT Sussex Advice services manager said, “It is very common for people to feel unable to face up to the growing difficulties they are facing. It is never too late to get advice but my advice is don’t delay.

“Early advice can save a huge amount of time, added complications and worry. In over 80 per cent of housing cases, we either prevent homelessness or achieve other positive outcomes such as sorting out disrepair and helping with finding accommodation.”

John was a client at BHT Sussex Eastbourne Advice and knows first-hand how important it is to get advice as soon as possible.

He said, “I came to the advice centre because I was unemployed and six months behind on my mortgage payments. I had left it and left it and eventually it got so bad that the mortgage company applied to the County Court for a Warrant of Possession.

“I thought that I would lose my home and couldn’t see a way out of it.

“I went to see an adviser at BHT Sussex and they realised I had not been receiving a state pension or pension credits. They were able to adjourn the hearing for 6 weeks and make an application for the state pension and pension credits.

“I received a backdated payment which allowed me to pay off my mortgage arrears and I was then able to pay my mortgage each month with the on-going payments.

“I had spent the last six months worrying about losing my home and wondering what I was going to do. Early advice would have prevented all of this worry and stress. I should have sought advice as soon as the problem started.”

BHT Sussex Eastbourne Advice can advise anyone who is eligible for legal aid and people can contact 642615 to find out if they are entitled to it.

BHT Sussex Eastbourne Advice can be contacted on 642615 or at Highlight House, Unit 6 Highlight House, 8 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3UH.