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    Social tenants are going to receive £800,000 funding to help improve their IT skills.

    Council and housing association landlords are able to bid for the funding as people living in this accommodation make up over a quarter of those who do not use the internet.

     As part of the Digital Deal launched by the government last week, the scheme is intended to help those who do not have the knowledge to get online with new IT skills.

    The intention is to give social tenants help to get online, so they are able to access the benefits of it such as finding out about local services and schools for children to applying for jobs.

    More importantly, it comes before the roll out of universal credit.

    Universal credit is starting to be introduced in areas of the UK this month, and is due to be introduced nationally from October. It is the new method for claiming benefits, with all benefits being applied for and received in one place.

    Read more about universal credit.

    It is an online based system for people to access and apply for their benefits. There has been much criticism about the unfairness of the system as most the people who would rely on it to receive their benefits do not have the access to the internet or the knowledge.

    Part of the Digital Deal will be to provide funding for low cost internet access and improve IT knowledge so that social tenants will be more motivated and more comfortable to go online.

    Landlords will be able to bid for part of £400,000 and if they receive the funding will have to match it from their own money so the available funding would double.

    Communities Minister Don Foster said:

    The internet is a huge force for good for the majority of people who use it but for too long there has also been a left out minority that includes many social tenants.

    The government wants everyone to see the massive range of benefits of getting online. The funding we are announcing today will help many more social tenants get online – not all of them nor overnight, but this is another important step towards making this country one of the most digitally inclusive in the world.

    Social landlords have until 3 June to submit bids, with the winners announced in the summer.



    April 08, 2013 by Louise Byrne Categories: Funding

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