Councils across Scotland have been given £10m to provide grants to tenants who have Covid-related arrears and risk eviction.
The grants will help tenants who are struggling financially as a direct result of the pandemic, allowing them to reduce or pay off arrears. They will be available in both the private and social rented sectors.
This is part of a package of measures available to local authorities to prevent homelessness, alongside Discretionary Housing Payments and advice on maximising income.
The grants also come on top of the Scottish Government’s separate £10m Tenant Hardship Loan Fund.
Campaigning groups such as Shelter and Generation Rent have been calling for similar approaches to be adopted in England.
Scottish Housing Secretary Shona Robison says: “We have been doing all we can to support tenants who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, and this latest funding takes our total housing support to almost £39m.
“These grants will support tenants and landlords who are willing to work together to address rent arrears and agree a repayment plan to ensure the tenant is able to avoid eviction.
“Councils have substantial experience in supporting people who have fallen behind on their rent, and are therefore well placed to work with both tenants and landlords in making use of this grant fund. Anyone who has been financially impacted by the pandemic and needs help to avoid eviction should contact their local authority housing department to discuss their circumstances.”
Back in June the Scottish Government announced its intention to launch a £10m grant fund, through which it would provide a one-off allocation of funds to each local authority.
The grant funding will be available until the end of March 2022.
There is no application process for a tenant or landlord to use for the grant funding. Instead local authorities will use their discretion to determine whether a grant payment is appropriate in individual circumstances.