The National Residential Landlords Association is backing the introduction of a £10m grant fund for tenants with Covid-related arrears.
The fund, announced this week, applies only in Wales.
Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, says: “[This] is a positive step for both landlords and tenants in Wales and will help keep people in their homes. We welcome that the Welsh Government has listened to NRLA calls to introduce an improved scheme that will help more tenants pay their rent.
“It is essential that the grants are made as accessible for tenants as possible and implemented effectively. We encourage landlords who have tenants with arrears to make them aware of the scheme.
“This help in Wales follows that of Scotland, and exposes England as being the poor relation when it comes to support for the private rented sector. It is time for the Chancellor to provide similar assistance for landlords and tenants in England.”
People living in private rented accommodation in Wales 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.
The Welsh Government’s Minister for Climate Change Julie James, who is responsible for housing, says: “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.”
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.