Money Advice

Having financial concerns can be a stressful and worrying time. We can help. From offering advice to providing you with information Merthyr Valleys Homes (MVH) will always be available to support our tenants.



If you have a low income or out of work, you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit to help with living costs, including rent (housing costs). For more information on universal credit visit Universal Credit: What Universal Credit is - GOV.UK ( or contact our team who will calculate what you could get and for help to make a claim.



Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit. You can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if either of the following apply:

  • You have reached State Pension age
  • You’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing

For more information and to claim visit Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council website Housing Benefit | Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council or contact our team.

And also can you just add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to the budgeting and advice contact section on the same page please.



Knowing how to budget is the first step to being able to save money. MVH has a downloadable budget planner with tips on how to be money smart, and don’t forget to contact our Welfare Benefits Advisors who can help you increase your income and reduce your outgoings.


You can contact us on 0800 085 7843 to arrange an appointment.


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If you’ve been unable to open a current account, perhaps due to poor credit history, you may be able to open a basic bank account.

Basic bank accounts are much like typical current accounts except they have restricted features, such as no overdraft or chequing books. You can, however, withdraw cash, and some banks may allow you to set up direct debits.

Anyone can open a basic bank account. You just need to be able to show identification, like a passport, birth certificate, gas bill, electricity bill, or recent statement.


MVH works closely with Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union to ensure our customers have access to savings and affordable credit. Credit Union members can save at an affordable level, be it £1 or £100, as small and regular amounts soon add up.

Visit Merthyr Tydfil Credit Union at 139 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8DN or visit their website.


If you already run your own home, you’ll know how much it can cost. As well as rent and council tax, there are utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If this is the first time you're looking at a home, then there are costs you’ll need to think about.  You need to make sure that you can afford these costs before you accept any offer that MVH makes you. Read our ‘The Cost of Running a Home’ guide for more information.


When you first move into a home, you’ll need to budget for the following things:

  • Furniture
  • Carpets
  • Curtains/Blinds
  • Fridge, freezer and washing machine
  • Cooker
  • Microwave
  • Bed(s)
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Kitchen utensils, cutlery and crockery
  • Television
  • Redecoration

Once you’ve set up, you’ll need to pay regular bills, including:


Council Tax is payable on top of the rent for general services provided by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and must contribute to Police and the Fire Service.

If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get assistance with your rent and council tax, contact Merthyr County Borough Council on 01685 725000 for more information.


There are two common ways of paying for water:

  • Water metre – you only pay for the water you use
  • Water rates – you pay a set amount no matter how much water you use. Water rates are calculated based on the Rateable Value of the property.

For advice, call Welsh Water on 0800 052 0145.


You’ll need to heat and light your home and cook and operate electrical appliances. Your fuel bills can range from £28 per week, perhaps more, especially in the winter.

There are many gas and electricity companies, so you could save a lot of money if you shop around to find the best deal. For more information about which utilities provider is best for you, visit uSwitch.


A TV licence costs £145.50 each year which is £3.00 per week. Find out more about how to pay on TV Licensing’s website.


Why do I need it?

If you are a tenant who rents, it is unlikely your landlord will cover your contents as part of the tenancy agreement. It’s a good idea to consider what a home contents insurance policy would cover you for in order to help you make an informed decision on whether you need one.

Contents insurance is designed to help protect your possessions. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen.

To help you decide whether home contents insurance is right for you, MVH have teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks, and Great Lakes Insurance UK Ltd who provide the My Home Contents Insurance Scheme, a Tenants Contents Insurance policy designed for tenants living in social housing.

The My Home Contents Insurance Scheme can offer you insurance for the contents of your home including cover for items such as furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures and ornaments.

How do you get further information?

Go to to find out more and to use our contents calculator to work out the value of your home contents…

Limits and exclusions apply. A copy of the policy wording is available on request.

The National Housing Federation and Community Housing Cymru working in partnership with Thistle Insurance Services Ltd. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Firm Reference Number 310419. Registered in England under No. 00338645. Registered office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Thistle Insurance Services Ltd is part of the PIB Group.

Our Data Protection Privacy Policy is online at

It is important to protect your belongings and your Landlord suggests that you look for providers who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Thistle Insurance Services are a company that specialises in social housing contents insurance, however there are also other providers that can be found on comparison websites like Money Supermarket or Compare the Market.