Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 39

The provision of microfinance, as discussed in section 2, can be a more suitable alternative to risky borrowing from payday lenders or informal sources where the financial and personal costs can be high. The case study below illustrates the significant stress that can arise when having to borrow money from other more risky sources, including personal associates. In this instance, the brokerage funds and other resources through the youth connections program were able to be used to clear their existing debt that was proving to be highly detrimental to the family’s wellbeing. Hassan 3 contacts Hassan was referred from the WCC settlement team for brokerage support around housing. He has a family with three children. At the time he needed to move into a rental property he borrowed money for bond as he did not know about a bond loan through the Office of Housing. Hassan presented to WCC under intense pressure as the person they borrowed from wanted the money paid back and Hassan felt indebted to him. In addition the person who they borrowed the money from has an interest in his younger daughter and he felt that she cannot tell him to leave as they are in debt to him. While this particular situation did not fit the usual eligibility criteria for the loan, as Hassan and his family were already in a property, it was decided that assistance from the housing program could be provided with approval from the team leader. Assistance of $1347 was given to the real estate agent in the form of a rent payment. Hassan agreed to repay $30 a fortnight, which he could afford. Hassan’s daughter was also being supported by WCC’s Youth Connections worker and was able to secure funds from another philanthropic organisation leaving only $400 for Hassan to pay. Hassan has since paid off the loan and the family’s financial stress has decreased. 32