15:00 PM, 26th October 2021, About 11 months ago 2
Over the weekend, the government announced a new £65m support package to help vulnerable renters who have fallen into rent arrears during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s to be provided during the winter months and distributed directly to landlords through local councils, who will decide the best way to use the funding to support households behind on their rent.
This is in addition to the £500m package announced in September to help families struggling to afford food, energy, water and other essentials, but follows the recent scrapping of the £20 uplift in Universal Credit which ended on the 6th October.
Sherrelle Collman Managing Director of Caridon Landlord Solutions, part of Caridon Group, wants more detail on how tenants can apply or whether landlords can request funding on the tenant’s behalf and questions whether the funding will be enough to cover Covid rent debts.
She comments: “The pandemic affected a huge number of households, especially low-income households, with many renters ending up in arrears during this period. We saw tenants losing their jobs or being unable to work when they were having to quarantine, affecting their income stream and resulting in some tenants having to go on Universal Credit. This can be an unfamiliar territory and there are rules to get to grips with, such as the fact it can take up to a month to receive payment.
“It’s good news that the government is continuing to acknowledge the problem and I welcome its response to support the most vulnerable families, but Covid rent debt far exceeds £65m and further action needs to be taken. I would like to see the government reinstate the £20 in Universal Credit in tomorrow’s Budget to help cover the rising cost of renting.”