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30 June, 2021 Open access

New £10 million grant scheme launched in Wales to help private tenants in rent arrears due to pandemic

Minister confirms that Tenancy Hardship Grant will replace the Tenancy Saver Loan, and that all those who received a loan will have it converted to a grant

The Minister responsible for housing Julie James has issued a written statement announcing a new £10 million grant scheme in Wales to help private tenants in rent arrears due to the pandemic.

Replacing the Tenancy Saver Loan, the Tenancy Hardship Grant will be administered by local authorities and open to private tenants who are not receiving housing-related benefits and have more than eight weeks rent arrears as a direct result of the pandemic.

NB - Ms James confirms that those who received a Tenancy Saver Loan will have the loan converted to a grant.

Highlighting that people who are eligible can register their interest with their local authority immediately and that grants will be processed from mid-July 2021, Ms James said

'Throughout the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented steps to tackle homelessness and support people to remain in their homes.

The new Tenancy Hardship Grant is the latest in this range of measures and will help people in privately rented homes who have fallen behind on their rent because of the pandemic.

I understand the stress and worry people will be experiencing if they have fallen behind in their rent. We also know that once someone falls behind with their rent it can be increasingly difficult for them to catch up without support.

We also know that if they are made homeless, the impact on them and their families is huge – so too is the cost to public services of dealing with homelessness.

This grant helps to prevent homelessness by helping people address their rent arrears and keep their tenancies.'

Ms James' written statement is available from gov.wales

Update (15 July 2021: the Minister has today issued a further written statement confirming that the Tenancy Hardship Grant has now opened to applications.