Not-for-profit, charity-registered organisation, VERTO, will soon be able to offer free and independent financial counselling to clients across NSW after successfully applying for a share of $1.17 million in funding from the Financial Counselling Foundation.

For the first time at VERTO, financial counselling will be offered alongside tenancy support services to private renters who are struggling financially. This comes after the Financial Counselling Foundation identified an increased need for support as temporary government income and rental support measures come to an end and many sectors, like tourism and hospitality, are yet to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“VERTO is absolutely thrilled to successfully gain funding from the Financial Counselling Foundation to employ a full-time financial counsellor from 2021-2023,” VERTO CEO Ron Maxwell said.

“At VERTO, we pride ourselves on positively impacting the lives of individuals and communities. Being able to provide independent financial counselling to our clients across NSW will have life-changing results for many and complement the important free services we currently offer in our local community.

“I can’t thank the Financial Counselling Foundation enough for the vote of confidence they have given VERTO. We’re looking forward to supporting their mission of helping as many vulnerable people as possible, especially during these difficult COVID-19 times.”

Financial Counselling Foundation CEO, Jane Nash, added: “These grants will enable in-house access to free financial counselling for thousands of people seeking help with rent issues. If you cannot pay your rent, a financial counsellor can provide information and advocacy to stabilise your situation and help to get you back on your feet.”

Advertising for the financial counselling position will begin in March, with the hope of someone starting in this new position ASAP.

Along with VERTO, Tenants Victoria and Tenants Queensland also successfully applied for funding, which is provided by the Financial Counselling Foundation and a donation of $120,000 from the Credit Union of Australia.