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Over 100 evictions prevented

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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Over 100 evictions prevented

A SMALL team of workers have been hailed this week for preventing over 100 households from being evicted in Dumfries and Galloway over the past year.

The council’s welfare and housing options (WHO) team – comprising of just four people – have worked tirelessly sourcing financial support for families and individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, writes local democracy reporter Marc Mclean.

One man had lost his job, his marriage, racked up debts of £3000, and said his “world fell apart”.

Meanwhile, a single mum-of-two living in a social landlord property was drowning in nearly £2000 rent arrears while trying to feed her kids and pay other bills.

These, and the many other householders facing eviction, were rescued when the council’s WHO team helped secure Tackling Poverty funding to clear the debts and remove the risk of homelessness.

Councillor Andy Ferguson said: “It’s a relatively small team – but making a massive difference to people’s lives.

“The impact it’s had on the region in the last few years has been fantastic.”

A report for next week’s communities committee proposes that the WHO team, which is funded until the end of this month, is given more money to continue its vital work for at least another 12 months.

A council spokesman said: “At the time of writing the report there had been 97 tenancies saved by the welfare and housing options team, who work closely with the homeless service, but that has now risen to 120 at the end of February.”

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