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Case Study – Hiwot, Universal Credit and housing

Hiwot is a 24-year-old client from Eritrea. She recently separated from her partner and as a result became solely responsible for the full rent of her accommodation and needed help with Universal Credit.  

Hiwot claimed Universal Credit as she was in urgent need of financial support. When she made the claim, she informed Universal Credit about her separation because her partner was still named on her tenancy agreement. Despite this, she only received help with half of the housing costs. 

When she tried to resolve this issue, she was advised to have her tenancy agreement adjusted so that it was in her name only. However, even after several phone calls to her housing provider she was unable to make any progress. 

It was at this point that Hiwot came to The Refugee and Migrant Centre’s (Black Country and Birmingham) (RMC) Walsall office to secure help. RMC contacted the housing provider and found out that the name adjustment was not possible due to rent arrears. She was advised by the housing officer to contact Universal Credit and request that her tenancy agreement be categorised as an ‘untidy’ tenancy.  

RMC supported Hiwot to make this request and supported her with the subsequent back and forth between Universal Credit and the housing provider. Thankfully, after numerous phone calls, she is now receiving help with her full housing costs.  

Talking about her experience with RMC, Hiwot said:

“I am very happy with the RMC. They are very helpful, all the staff, especially Zeliha.”  

If you need support with Universal Credit or your housing situation, contact our team

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