Advocacy for tenants in arrears to contact their co…

A senior Welsh politician has urged anyone who has fallen behind with rent payments because of the pandemic to contact their local authority to find out if they can receive financial help to avoid eviction.

Changes to the Welsh Government’s £10million grant announced this week mean that anyone facing arrears for covid-related reasons from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 until December 2021 (it’s is just last month) can now apply.

This means tenants who are behind on rent because they lost their jobs following the removal of the Furlough scheme in September, or who suffered a significant drop in income when the Universal Credit increase was removed by the British government, can now be eligible under the new criteria.

Other examples of rent arrears resulting directly from the pandemic include loss of income due to closures or Covid-19 disease.

Are now also eligible the tenants of social housing who do not benefit from allowances linked to housing.

Tenants of private rental accommodation are still encouraged to apply.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: ‘I urge anyone who is facing eviction or who has fallen behind on their rent due to the pandemic to contact their local authority today to find out what help is available.

“Our Tenant Hardship Grant will help prevent evictions and help tenants stay in their homes. The impact of homelessness on individuals and families is enormous – including the loss of support networks, children having to change schools, and suffering in the mental health and well-being of families.

“We want to do everything we can to help avoid this situation. The grant is expected to provide each local authority with significant savings in preventing homelessness and helping people to stay in their homes and maintain their tenancies.

In support of the Welsh Government, Ruth Power – Chief Executive of Shelter Cymru – adds: “Expanding eligibility criteria will mean that more people, who are struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic, will be able to access help to keep their accommodation.

“Our advisers work with people across Wales whose income has been badly affected by the pandemic and who are really worried about the future. Getting money to people in need quickly will prevent families from becoming homeless.

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