The Welsh government has widened its £10 million Tenancy Hardship Grant scheme to include all tenants renting privately or socially who have built up rent arrears during the pandemic.
Announced in July last year, the scheme now covers tenants who have got into arrears between March 2020 and December 2021.
Originally, the scheme only covered rent arrears built up prior to June 30th 2021.
The widening of the scheme’s scope is designed to include tenants who have lost their jobs or income after the furlough scheme ended in September last year, or who suffered a significant decrease in income when the Universal Credit uplift was removed by the UK Government, may now be eligible under the new criteria.
Other examples of rent arrears as a direct result of the pandemic include a loss of income due to lockdowns or because of becoming ill with Covid-19.
Ruth Power (pictured), CEO of Shelter Cymru says: We welcome the changes to the Tenancy Hardship Grant announced today.
“Widening the eligibility criteria will mean more people, who are struggling during the pandemic to pay their rent, are able to access support to keep their homes.
“Our advisors are working with people across Wales whose incomes have been seriously affected by the pandemic and who are really worried about the future.
“Getting money quickly to people in need will prevent families from becoming homeless.”
The Welsh government has published details of a 50-year-old tenant in Rhondda Cynon Taf who, after his income dropped from £1,300 a month to £700 during Covid, got £5,000 into arrears with his rent
He was not evicted from his home during time and, after applying to the fund, the money was paid direct to his landlord.