8:50 AM, 23rd August 2022, About 2 years ago 5
A pilot scheme that helps tenants threatened with eviction to stay in their homes has been extended after more cash was awarded.
Cornwall Council will now extend the scheme that sees up to £5,000 being made available to help tenants of privately-owned properties who have fallen behind in their rent and are at risk of homelessness.
The Tenancy Sustainment and Rescue Project began last December when the Council and Citizens Advice Cornwall were awarded more than £800,000 from the Covid Outbreak Management Fund and from government money to deal with homelessness.
Since then, the scheme has helped more than 40 households to remain in their homes with further support in place to help to address the reason for the rent arrears.
Now the organisations have received £434,000 to support households until March 2023.
The cash will be used to support work with tenants who either ask for help or are referred by partner agencies.
The scheme is also open to landlords who are thinking about serving notice due to rent arrears as well as tenants at risk of homelessness
Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for housing and planning, said: “Preventing homelessness is a priority.
“Keeping people in their homes is clearly very important, and this scheme will help to ensure that people who have perhaps fallen on hard times and may otherwise have become homeless will be able to stay where they are.”
Ruth Clarke, the chair of Cornwall Residential Landlords’ Association, welcomed the cash boost and told Property118.com: “Good landlords and good tenants need equal support in these difficult times.
“Any measures which assist good tenants to stay in their homes can only be welcomed.”
Jon Warner, from Cornwall Housing, said: “This extra funding has been a real godsend for some really desperate families who face homelessness through no fault of their own.
“We have managed to intervene in all sorts of situations from arrears caused by loss of work or sickness to increasing debt and fuel poverty.”
In exchange for addressing the arrears and providing support, landlords are expected to allow renters to remain in the property for up to 12 months after they have been given assistance.
Gill Pipkin, from Citizens Advice Cornwall, said: “Our charity is seeing ever-increasing demand from people struggling in the current cost of living crisis.
“Security of housing is a key element of keeping people safe and reducing pressure – this funding is helping us make a real difference to people in crisis, enabling them to stay in their properties and maintain their social, work and support networks.”
The scheme’s extension has also been welcomed by the National Residential Landlords’ Association (NRLA) and a spokesperson told Property118.com: “Programmes which aim to prevent homelessness by sustaining viable tenancies are to be applauded.
“Where issues are short-term and resolvable, this scheme will no doubt prove invaluable in preventing the unnecessary failure of tenancies, but we also need solutions to the structural problems facing landlords and tenants.”
The spokesperson added: “In the long run, we must address the issues of under-supply and unaffordability precipitated by the Government’s hostility towards private landlords and renting households.
“Long-term solutions will require a rethink by the incoming PM, reversing the unjustified tax raid on landlords and properly funding those in receipt of Universal Credit to help them access, and remain in, good quality rented homes.”