CHAI

Housing Advice & Tenancy Support

CHAI provides specialist housing and money advice to tenants and homeowners and Tenancy Support for Melville Housing Association tenants.

Housing and money advice

CHAI provides specialist housing and money advice across Edinburgh and Midlothian to both tenants and homeowners. We can help with:

Please call 0131 442 2100 or email chai@chaiedinburgh.org.uk to make an appointment.

The CHAI Housing Team also helps residents of Melville Housing Association to sustain their tenancies.

We provide support with: benefits and grants, furnishing the home, GP and dentist registration, making and keeping appointments, dealing with officials, correspondence and phone calls. Contact your Melville Housing Officer for a referral to this service.

Our Standards

CHAI’s Housing Support Service is a Registered Care Service, and is subject to regulation by the Care Inspectorate. The Service was graded as ‘Good’ at the last Care Inspection.

Case Studies

Read case studies of our work which illustrate how we can maximise people’s income, resolve housing and debt issues and support tenants and homeowners.

Leon (pseudonym) was referred for Tenancy Support as he was “homeless” when he was offered a Melville Housing Association Tenancy. He had no furniture or white goods and was on a low income. He was anxious about his situation which was influencing his poor mental health. 

What we did: Contact was made prior to Leon viewing and signing for the new tenancy. Information was given about the process of taking over a tenancy and about the services Melville provide. We discussed with Leon how to apply for financial help to furnish and decorate a new tenancy. We also listed the requirements for an application for a Community Care Grant. This application was initially refused so we assisted Leon with an appeal which was eventually successful and resulted in an award of £1,236. We then advised Leon about the process of organising flooring and delivery of white goods and furniture.

In addition, advice was given about how Leon could inform Universal Credit about his Change in Circumstances and apply for the Housing Costs Element. We helped Leon claim an Advance from Universal Credit to help towards paying for his first month’s rent to Melville Housing Association.

We discussed the best way for him to pay his rent to Melville in the future. Leon then decided he wanted Universal Credit to pay the landlord directly. We then explained his responsibility to pay Council Tax and gave advice on how to claim Single Person’s Discount and Council Tax Reduction. 

A benefit check was carried out which identified Leon’s health difficulties and the impact on his daily living. We then referred Leon to the Melville Benefit Advisors to help claim PIP (Personal Independence Payment) to maximise his income.

We advised Leon about changing gas and electricity supply to his name and assisted him with taking meter readings, setting up Home Contents Insurance and purchasing a TV Licence.

Impact of Support: Leon was homeless at the point of being offered tenancy.  His mental health was extremely poor and he requires a lot of coaching, support and encouragement. These are the type of tenancies that are likely to fail if support is not provided for people who do not have the experience or knowledge to manage a home.

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