Posted: Wed 30th Jun 2021

New grant scheme launched to help tenants struggling to pay rent as ban on evictions comes to an end

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 30th, 2021

A new £10 million grant has been introduced in Wales to help people in private rented accommodation struggling to pay their rent because of the pandemic.

The move comes as a ban on evictions in Wales comes to an end today.

Since September 2020, most tenants in Wales have been entitled to 6 months’ notice before their landlord can start court action to evict them.

Bailiffs in Wales had been banned from carrying out evictions during the pandemic but the ban ends today, June 30.

A new ‘Tenancy Hardship Grant’ is aimed at supporting people who have fallen behind on their rent by more than eight weeks between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021.

The grant is designed to help people stay in their homes and prevent them losing their tenancies.

Minister for Climate Change Julie James, who is responsible for housing, said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented steps to tackle homelessness and support people to remain in their homes.”

“The new Tenancy Hardship Grant is the latest in this range of measures and will help people in privately rented homes who have fallen behind on their rent because of the pandemic.”

“I understand the stress and worry people will be experiencing if they have fallen behind in their rent. We also know that once someone falls behind with their rent it can be increasingly difficult for them to catch up without support.”

“We also know that if they are made homeless, the impact on them and their families is huge – so too is the cost to public services of dealing with homelessness.”

“This grant helps to prevent homelessness by helping people address their rent arrears and keep their tenancies.”

People living in private rented accommodation who have developed rent arrears as a direct result of the pandemic may be eligible for the grant.

Rent arrears may have been the result of a loss of income due to furlough, a reduction in work or because they were only able to claim Statutory Sick Pay when ill with Covid-19.

The grant, which will be administered by local authorities, will be open to people who are not receiving housing-related benefits.

It will replace the Tenancy Saver Loan, which was introduced in December 2020. Anyone who received a loan will have that loan converted to a grant.

People who are eligible can register their interest with their local authority immediately and grants will be processed from mid-July.

Shelter Cymru chief executive RuthPower said: “It is vital that we prevent people from losing their homes.”

“In the wake of the pandemic, Wales’ housing system cannot cope with an additional wave of homelessness.”

“This is welcome news for many renters across Wales.”

“Nobody should be at risk of losing their home because of the pandemic.’”

“It’s vital now that this help gets to the people who need it most.”

Julie James added: “I urge anyone who is struggling to pay their rent – even if they’re just starting to have difficulties – to contact their landlord or agent and organisations like Citizen’s Advice or Shelter Cymru so they receive the right advice and support.”

 

 

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