The Scottish government has outlined how co-operative landlords and tenants can share a £10 million fund to help plug Covid-related arrears, four months after announcing the measure.
Councils have been tasked with distributing the new grant fund which aims to help both private and social tenants who have fallen behind on their rent and are at risk of eviction.
Each authority will get a one-off allocation of funds, based on an agreement with CoSLA, The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
Tenants and landlords are being told that they can’t apply directly for funding – instead local authorities will use their discretion to determine whether individual circumstances warrant a grant payment.
The cash will be available until the end of March 2022.
Housing Secretary Shona Robison says the grants will support tenants and landlords who are willing to work together to address rent arrears and agree a repayment plan.
“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,” says Robison (pictured).
“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.”
Nina Ballantyne, Citizens Advice Scotland social justice spokesperson, adds that the network saw a real spike in demand for housing-related advice during the pandemic.
“Our analysis suggests almost 300,000 people in Scotland missed a housing payment last year because they ran out of money before pay day.”
The new grants come on top of the Scottish government’s £10 million Tenant Hardship Loan Fund launched last December, offering an interest-free loan.