Money management

BITMO's Financial Inclusion Officer is Ashlyn Fairchild. Ashlyn supports BITMO tenants with a whole series of money related topics from benefit enquiries and applications through to appeals, budget management and debt.

Ashlyn offers a drop in service on Mondays between 4pm and 5pm and Thursdays between 1.30 and 2.30pm.

To contact Ashlyn email or phone 0113 3782190

 Additonal Financial Inclusion Support offered at BITMO
CAB (Citizen Advice Bureau) are available to meet with people on Wednesday mornings in the GATE. Their Energy Affordability Adviser, Vicky, offers a drop in service in the GATE fortnightly on Monday mornings. See the GATE page for dates.
To book appointments please call 0113 344 8367 or visit for more information.
Leeds City Credit Union holds an Information Point every Tuesday from 9.30am until 11am. Come along and get advice on creating a credit union account, accessing loans and even saving for Christmas. To book an appointment speak with GATE staff or call 0113 3782190
You can also get help and advice from Leeds Money Information Centre (Leeds MIC)
Come along to the GATE every Friday morning for a FREE full English breakfast cooked by the lovely Geraldine and Steph. The Happy Friday Breakfast Club meets in the GATE every Friday morning from 9.30am and everyone is welcome!




Under Occupancy ChargeUnder Occupancy Charge<div class="ExternalClassE55BB02B2E2B491EB4710699F2065CDF"><strong>What is the Under Occupancy Charge?</strong><br><br> ​- If you are a working-age council or housing association tenant, the council limits your housing benefit claim if it decides you have 'spare bedrooms'.<br> ​- This housing benefit reduction is called the Under Occupancy Charge but is more commonly known as the bedroom tax.<br> ​- The number of bedrooms you can claim for is based on the number of people living in your home. You are expected to pay any outstanding rent yourself.<br> ​- The amount of rent you can claim housing benefit for is reduced by 14% if you have one 'spare' bedroom or 25% if you have two or more 'spare' bedrooms.<br> ​- The bedroom tax won't affect you if you and your partner have reached state pension credit age.<br><br> <strong>How many bedrooms can you get housing benefit for?</strong><br><br> ​- One bedroom for a couple<br> ​- One bedroom for a person aged 16 or over<br> ​- One bedroom for two children aged under 16 of the same sex<br> ​- One bedroom for two children aged under 10 (boys and girls are expected to share a room)<br> ​- One bedroom if you or your partner needs an overnight carer to stay<br> ​- One extra room is allowed for approved foster carers who foster a child or children<br> ​- For students away from home, a room is counted providing they are away for less than 52 weeks and intend to return home<br> ​- A severely disabled child who needs their own room isn't required to share.<br><br> <strong>What actions can be taken?</strong><br><br> ​- Ask your council about a discretionary housing payment to help with a rent shortfall<br> ​- Make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to<br> ​- Try to get a transfer or exchange to a smaller council or housing association home which doesn't have 'spare' rooms.​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start" style="display:none;"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end" style="display:none;"></span></div>
Universal CreditUniversal Credit<div class="ExternalClass19A2919DC1844FE5B5E0B2057BDDD0F1">Universal Credit (UC) has begun to be introduced and combines 6 benefits:<br><br> - Working Tax Credit<br> - Child Tax Credit<br> - Income Support<br> - Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance<br> - Income-related Employment and Support Allowance<br> - Housing Benefit<br><br> Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work. Applications will be made online. Universal Credit will be responsive - as people on low incomes move in and out of work, they’ll get ongoing support.<br><br> Universal Credit is a single payment made monthly in arrears paid into a bank or building society account.<br><br> Make sure you have a bank or building society account with direct debit facility for paying bills, rent, as you’ll have to pay the rent and any housing costs directly to your landlord.<br><br> Universal Credit will be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.<br><br><br> <strong>When can I claim Universal Credit?</strong><br><br> There are currently around 12.5 million claims in place for the benefits that will be replaced by UC. Because of the number of people affected the Government has decided to phase in the introduction of UC between 2013 and 2017.<br><br> <strong>Natural Migration</strong> - If you experience a significant change of circumstance that affects your benefit entitlement the opportunity will be taken to move you on to UC at that point.<br><br> <strong>Managed Migration</strong> - If your circumstances don't change, once UC has been established in every part of the country the Department for Work and Pensions will begin to move people over to UC on a systematic basis.</div>