Loan scheme for bat­tling res­i­dents

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - By PAUL CON­LEY

THE Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre’s no-in­ter­est loan scheme is avail­able to all hold­ers of a health care card who have been res­i­dents of the Dou­glas re­gion for at least six months and meet cer­tain cri­te­ria.

Since the scheme be­gan 18 months ago, co-or­di­na­tor Megan Black­low has is­sued 33 ap­pli­cants cheques of up to $1000.

The Good Shep­herd char­ity started this bril­liant idea over 30 years ago and the Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank un­der­write the project.

In the Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre’s case, there is $50,000 avail­able for dis­tri­bu­tion which is con­stantly be­ing topped up with re­pay­ments from loan ap­pli­cants.

Megan said with pride that of the $31,000 she has lent, $21,000 has been re­paid, with some clients ap­ply­ing for as­sis­tance more than once.

The loans are usu­ally for es­sen­tial items such as fridges, wash­ing ma­chines, kitchen ap­pli­ances and fur­ni­ture.

The most un­usual request Megan has been able to help out with was for part pay­ment for braces for the daugh­ter of a lo­cal res­i­dent suf­fer­ing fi­nan­cial hard­ship.

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