Ayrshire housing advice project

The Ayrshire project is funded by Scottish Legal Aid Board and run in partnership with a local North Ayrshire charity, Community Housing Advocacy Project (CHAP). It was launched in January 2010 with the initial aim was to enhance legal advice services for people affected by the economic downturn and targeting issues such as repossession and debt. It main focus is to to provide money advice and legal representation to home owners in Ayrshire facing mortgage repossession.

This project intervenes early to help people and to avoid repossessions. We provide legal advice across the Kilmarnock and Ayr courts and provide crucial advice at critical moments in people’s lives. For any one person and their family – dealing with legal issues or having to attend a court hearing can be extremely stressful and unnerving.  

We have a solicitor employed by Govan Law Centre, a Money Advice Worker employed by CHAP and administration support. Now, more than ever, people need our help and this funding will help us to provide an enhanced service.opens up access to justice for more people and means that they will be able to get targeted advice to help them to deal with their legal problems. We know that the majority of repossession cases are not defended and that even where homeowners do take action to try to keep their homes, many go unrepresented or don’t turn up at court. In many cases early resolution of the problem might have meant avoidance of court altogether. We also know that helping someone avoid repossession does not always end their problems and that follow up work to tackle unresolved issues is also often needed.

Families and individuals wrestling with debt can often feel stressed and isolated, it is imperative that professional advice is available to our most vulnerable citizens.

Mike Dailly of Govan Law Centre, said, “Govan Law Centre’s team of solicitors is nationally recognised as having expertise in the prevention of homelessness. Our new project solicitor brings many years of experience as Principal Solicitor for both a national homelessness charity and a community-based law centre to this team. By combining these strengths with those of a local grass roots organisation, with Scottish Legal Aid Board funding, we aim to be in a position to provide dedicated money advice and qualified legal representation to the people of Ayrshire to prevent mortgage repossession on a sustainable basis.”