A NEW team of advisors is being created to help tenants in County Durham deal with changes to the welfare system.

Universal credit is being introduced across most of County Durham from this autumn.

To help people cope with the changes, County Durham Housing Group has established a dedicated universal credit team.

The new benefit replaces a number of others, including employment support allowance, income support, jobseekers allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit.

It is being rolled out in Peterlee and Seaham from October, Bishop Auckland and Crook in December and Durham and Spennymoor in early 2018.

Anita Lowther, universal credit team leader, said: “We’re here to help our tenants through these changes.

“We know that many of our customers feel like they don’t have all of the information they need, or are confused by how it will work for them individually.

“We can offer one-to-one guidance and support, and to ensure that if mistakes have been made that they can be corrected by working with the Department for Work and Pensions.”

To contact the Universal Credit Team, Dale and Valley Homes tenants can call 0800 083 0333; Durham City Homes tenants can call 0800 068 0013; and East Durham Homes tenants can call 0800 032 0835.

Tenants from all three landlords can also email universal.credit@cdhg.co.uk