Housing Choices WA recommenced our award winning ‘Managing on a Low Income’ financial wellbeing groups for tenants earlier this month in Bunbury.
These place-based wellbeing groups aim to assist tenants to improve their financial knowledge, awareness of local financial services and confidence to access these services. Housing Choices WA staff and a local financial counsellor facilitate each group, but the sessions are ultimately led by tenants who determine what areas of money management they would like to discuss. Tenants are invited to drive conversation and share their cost saving knowledge and ideas as the experts in the room.
In addition to providing a forum for tenants to share and learn from each other, ‘Managing on a Low Income’ financial wellbeing groups also aim to build the capacity of local financial counsellors to reach individuals who would not usually access their services.
Joining tenants at our first ‘Managing on a Low Income’ financial wellbeing group for 2021 were staff from our Tenant Engagement and Capacity Building team, our South West Tenancy Services team and a local financial counsellor from Anglicare, Kea. The group kicked off with Kea explaining the role of a financial counsellor – including that her services are free of charge to the community. Interestingly, only one tenant was aware of this prior to our wellbeing group.
Kea’s introduction was followed by tenants sharing their tips and knowledge. One of our local South West residents drove the discussion, sharing his tips around emergency relief, best value groceries, no interest loans and local low-cost services. Kea also advised the group that financial counsellors like her can refer tenants to many of these services.
Every tenant who participated in our Bunbury session said they learnt new money management tips and were more aware of local services that could help them. Housing Choices WA staff and Kea said they all learnt something from the tenants in the room, which they could pass on other tenants and individuals in the community.
Another positive outcome from the group was that all tenant attendees said they felt more confident contacting a financial counsellor. One tenant made an appointment with Kea on the spot!
A big thank you to Kea, our South West team and our tenants for a wonderful group!