New legal aid service starts in Yanchep

Uniting WA financial counsellor Paul Jordan and WA Legal Aid solicitor Lydia Chua join forces to help Yanchep clients with complex financial and legal problems. Picture: Uniting WA

RESIDENTS with money problems and in need of legal advice will soon have a new legal aid service at the Y.hub in Yanchep.

The service starts on Monday, January 16 and has come about largely due to the efforts of Yanchep-based Uniting WA financial counsellor Paul Jordan, who worked with the City of Wanneroo, Y.hub management and Legal Aid WA to launch the service.

Mr Jordan had seen how invaluable legal advice had been to clients at Uniting WA’s financial counselling service in Merriwa and was determined to get the same deal for Yanchep and Two Rocks residents.

“Not every financial counselling client needs legal advice but certainly clients facing complex money problems, for example default notices and repossession of property and homes, may need to speak to a lawyer,” he said.

“It was expected more people would seek advice from financial counsellors and lawyers in 2023 as mortgage stress and defaults increased.

“And it’s important for clients to be able to talk with someone face-to-face about these serious matters.

“That’s why easy access to a local service is so important.”

Uniting WA co-chief executive officer Jen Park said the agency had seen a 25 per cent rise in the number of people using free financial counselling services in the last quarter of 2022.

“More than 60 per cent of these people are new clients and of all the clients we see, mortgage stress accounts for 15 per cent of clients seeking help,’’ she said.

“Clearly cost of living pressures are biting, with many more people and especially families needing help to keep their heads above water.”

Mr Jordan, a long-time Yanchep resident, feels strongly about residents having local services, instead of travelling to Perth.

He said it took nearly 12 months of discussions to get all parties on board.

“Everyone worked hard to make sure we got this service off the ground for local residents,” he said. Financial counsellors are a free service funded by government to help people experiencing financial hardship.

Uniting WA is a not-for-profit provider of community services.

For Legal Aid appointments at the Y.hub call 9261 6378 and for financial counselling appointments at the Y.hub call 9220 1255.