The Housing Association That is Giving Tenants Free Mobile Data
Clanmil has become the first housing association in Northern Ireland to supply free mobile data for its customers who need it, thanks to its membership of the UK National Databank. Housing Industry Leaders explores how low-income families will benefit from this.

To complete many day-to-day activities, access to the internet is now essential but many people can’t afford to top up their mobile phones or pay for mobile data.

With the cost-of-living crisis, affording things is becoming more and more difficult. The housing association has revealed that low-income families are now four times more likely to be digitally excluded.

Social Isolation Must Be Prevented

Like a food bank, The National Databank provides internet connectivity data for those who can’t otherwise afford it due to financial pressures. The National Databank’s work is made possible through a partnership with the Good Things Foundation, Three Mobile, 02 and Vodafone.

6.9 million people in the UK will remain digitally excluded if nothing is done to help them. CEBR, 2018.

Senior Financial Inclusion Officer at Clanmil, Eddie Smith, explained why the housing association applied for the service when it was first launched in May: “More and more the Money Advice Team are speaking to customers who are having to either reduce or completely stop using data on their phones or home devices because they just can’t afford it.

“With so many basic daily activities being done digitally now, not having access to Wi-Fi or data can make life really difficult for people.

“Not only are people disadvantaged in terms of doing basic ‘life admin’ but they can also become socially isolated. We hope that this free data will make a real difference for people who need it.”

As well as providing free data, Clanmil can also help customers who don’t have a device by providing them with a smartphone through our Hardship Fund.

Tenants Will Receive Unlimited Calls And Texts

It is said that Eddie and his team will be able to provide people who live in Clanmil homes and are in need with a SIM card for up to 20GBs of data and unlimited calls and texts free for 12 months on either Three, 02 or Vodafone.

Those who want to apply for a SIM card must be over 18 years old, from a low-income household and in receipt of means-tested benefits or Universal Credit.