£93k tenant support fund launched
TENANTS in Inverclyde who have fallen behind with rent payments due to the Covid-19 pandemic can now access a new £93,000 housing support fund.
The council has launched the Tenant Grant Fund to support people in social and private rented accommodation locally who are at risk of becoming homeless through financial hardship caused by coronavirus.
The local authority has received £93k to run the scheme from a £10 million Scottish Government fund to prevent homelessness and sustain tenancies by directly reducing, alleviating or paying off rent arrears altogether.
The grant covers arrears accumulated during the period 23 March 2020 until 9 August 2021 and arrears of up to a maximum of 12 months will be considered.
Any arrears accrued before or after these dates will not be considered.
Grants do not have to be repaid and are available to tenants in housing association and privately rented accommodation.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “Many of our residents have been hit in the pocket as a result of the pandemic and now find themselves struggling to keep up with rent through no fault of their own.
“This fund will help the most vulnerable in society to keep a roof over their heads and ease the strain that can have on their financial circumstances, as well as their mental and physical wellbeing.
“It’s in nobody’s interest for people to become homeless and I hope this support will ensure those most at risk can continue in their tenancies and get back on their feet.”
Applications are now being accepted by Inverclyde Council.
The local authority’s £93k allocation is available until 31 March 2022.
The scheme is designed to be flexible but there is an eligibility criteria set by the Scottish Government:
- The grants are limited to helping with rent arrears that built-up between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021 to a maximum of 12 months within this period.
- Grants can cover full or partial rent arrears depending on individual circumstances.
- Grants will be targeted towards current tenants who are most at risk of becoming homeless, in circumstances where tenancies can be saved through such intervention.
- Private sector landlords must be registered on the Scottish Landlord Register
- Landlords must have carried out steps to resolve the situation in line with pre-action requirements.
- Payments will be made to landlords rather than tenants on the strict condition that the payment will be used to credit the tenant's rent account and ongoing proceedings to end the tenancy will be ceased.
The aim is to ensure funding is targeted towards supporting households that are at the greatest risk of becoming homeless.
Income maximisation support will be offered with the aim of reducing the level of debt and to help with ongoing rent payments.
To apply and for more information, visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/tenantgrantfund, email Homelessness.Services@inverclyde.gov.uk or call 01475 715378.