Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 25

5.2 Combining financial assistance with case management support I had a case manager and would see her every two weeks. The program helped me through my separation with my husband. I am a single mum and have two children. I had some bond but not enough. The service helped me to find a property by looking on the internet websites, they helped me to get into to the property and helped me emotionally after separating from my husband. I have difficulty with English so the service helped me liaise with real estate agents. They also helped me to get my drivers licence [Client interview]. There was a clear theme from all consulted that the combination of tangible practical assistance in the form of a loan combined with private rental advocacy and support was considered a core strength of the model. Moreover, providing a flexible response within the broad parameters of the eligibility criteria and working collaboratively with the client in a way that helps them to position themselves as being ‘loan ready’ has been a critical success factor in assisting clients to resolve their housing needs. People are not just given the money but provided with assistance through the whole tenancy process and are able to negotiate if things are difficult for them. Many people can turn to their family for a loan but the clients we see do not have anyone else that they can rely on for housing related support. We can offer support to those who are able to rent and need a hand to make it in the private rental market [Staff focus group]. I received case management support for housing. They have responded promptly to any other issues. Case management support helped with the utility bills and signing up the service to be able to receive a concession on my utility bills [Client interview]. WCC did all of the organising for me. Whenever I had forms to complete I could bring it down to here and they would help. They helped to organise the bond and application process. They were excellent and they respond straight away [Client interview]. It is a very valuable program more than 100 people are supported with information and advice and a smaller number are supported with a loan. They are provided with good support to help them to manage the loan [External stakeholder]. I found about the program whilst attending English training. They helped with accommodation inspections and gave me information. This was at the time when I had to break the lease with the real estate agent. The service helped to resolve the matter out of court. WCC provided advice, legal support and then direct assistance with helping to secure a rental property. They provided financial support of $600 loan, and I was able to pay this back at what I could afford at the time. I received case management support for housing. I have been able to contact them whenever I needed help with utility bills. I still go the service for English support and courses [Client interview]. All clients agreed that rapid access to brokerage funds was the most helpful aspect of the service in being able to resolve their housing crisis. However, for some clients, having a case manager to ‘walk them through’ how the private rental sector works and how to best present themselves to prospective landlords was reported to be equally helpful. Clients also reported that providing references and liaising with real estate agents on their behalf was beneficial, particularly when they had previously submitted multiple applications without success. Having a number of different services at WCC that clients could be linked into, including opportunities to do volunteer work was also reported to be particularly helpful. Clients reported that the links between the housing and legal services at WCC allowed them to have the tenancy issues and financial needs met in the once place. 18