A council in London has stepped in to help tenants in the private sector to clear their rent arrears with an interest-free loan or grant via a new multi-million pound fund.

The London Borough of Brent has launched the scheme today. Called the Resident’s Support Fund its aim is to help locals through the worst of the economic downturn created by the pandemic, backed by a new fund totalling £2.6 million.

Residents of the borough will be eligible to apply for money from the fund as long as they are over 18 years old, can prove they have been impacted by Coronavirus and do not have more than £6,000 in savings at the time of application.

The loans and grants can be used to clear rent arrears whether a tenant is or is not in receipt of housing benefits, as well as clear council tax or mortgage arrears. It can also be used to pay for food, utility or fuel bills or to pay off credit cards. The money can also be used to buy a laptop and pay for broadband.

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“The pandemic has come as a complete shock to all of us,” says Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council.

“During these difficult times, Brent Council has once again risen to the challenge. This fund will support residents and families that are most at financial risk due to COVID-19. 

“The loans are interest-free to support residents who may have accrued debts during the pandemic and want to consolidate them with a reasonable period to pay them back.”

Read more about Brent’s private rental sector policies.

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