Author Archives: curtisshrigley

A quick update on Universal Credit in Sandwell: Support for tenants.

Black Country Click Start

The conversion process from Housing Benefit and the other old style benefits to Universal Credit is moving along very quickly.

Having a UC claim though, depends on being able to make an application online and then having full internet access to allow you to manage your claim.

We know there’s still a number of benefit claimants who would simply don’t use the internet and would struggle. They must address this if they are going to cope with the new benefit system. Or sooner or later, they could run into some serious difficulties as eventually the bulk of our caseload will be converted to UC.

And that’s quite apart from being excluded from just about everything else in the modern world.

Help is available locally to get people them online and confidant with internet basics through a free service called Black Country Click Start . It will teach some very necessary practical skills (meaning your tenant can sort out their benefit claim and then pay you your rent) – but it will also wraps these skills up into a more general package with things to make the program more attractive and less of a chore.

Despite being from a generation brought up pre-internet (I’m 52 this month) I can’t imagine living without it and often just take it for granted that everyone is comfortable doing the same things as me online But that’s very definitely wrong of me – I shouldn’t. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might not be and here’s a good chance to encourage them to find some help and support.

Please see the leaflet on the link above for the full details.




You are invited to the West Midlands Property Event of the year

Landords and Lettings Conference 2017

Bookings now open for the FREE West Midlands Landlords and Lettings Conference 2017.

Date/Time: Friday 6th October 2017 (9.00 am to 4.30 pm).
Venue: Bescot Stadium, Bescot Crescent, Walsall WS1 4SA.

This full day event is FREE TO ATTEND with free parking, free beverages and a free buffet lunch but you must reserve your place. Please click here to book and to find a full agenda. , Last year’s event was full within 3 weeks of bookings being opened with 651 people attending, so do it quickly to avoid disappointment.
Thanks to our sponsors whose support means we can offer you your place at no charge.

Do you need a tenant?

This is an urgent request for help. The Fire service have just ordered the closure of a block of flats in Sandwell. We urgently need help in finding accommodation for the displaced tenants – all types of accommodation are needed – for single people, couples and families.

One point to note is that all tenants are working – so this might be the perfect opportunity for you to find a tenant to fill your empty property.

So if you need a tenant – please contact Liz Mooney on 0121 569 5256 or


New Housing Benefit claims no longer accepted in certain Sandwell post-codes

Universal Credit - Housing Benefit

It’s finally happening …

From July 2017 as part of ongoing conversion to Universal Credit – we will no longer accept new claims for Housing Benefit from most people (there are certain very limited exceptions) whose postcodes start with any of the following combinations:

B62 8                           B64 5                         B64 6

B64 7                           B65 0                         B65 8

Anyone affected will need to claim Universal Credit (including the Housing Cost element) instead. They should do this online through

Most of Sandwell will remain unaffected by this change until July 2018 when the rest of the borough will be converted to what’s called ‘Full Service’ for Universal Credit.

The exceptions will be:

  • People above working age
  • Residents in certain supported accomodation
  • Families with three or more children

Full information about how UC works is available on