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13 January, 2022 Open access

Welsh Government extends Tenancy Hardship Grant eligibility conditions to include rent arrears built up between July and December 2021

Minister also confirms decision to make grants available to social housing tenants who were not in receipt of housing-related benefits when arrears built up

The Welsh Government has extended the eligibility conditions for the Tenancy Hardship Grant to include Covid-related rent arrears that tenants built up between July and December 2021.

Having first opened for applications from private tenants in July last year, new changes to the £10 million Tenancy Hardship Grant - originally available to cover Covid-related rent arrears built up between 1 March 2021 and 30 June 2021 - mean that tenants facing arrears due to the impact of the pandemic that have accrued from the start of the pandemic up to 31 December 2021 can now apply.

Confirming the extended scope of the scheme in a written statement yesterday, Minister Julie James said -

‘The current eligibility period for arrears will be extended to include Covid-related arrears built up between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, as well as the previously allowed Covid-related arrears built up from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2021. This means that tenants who lost their jobs following the removal of the furlough scheme in September, or who suffered a significant decrease in income when the universal credit uplift was removed by UK Government, and who were not in receipt of housing related costs, will be included.’

In addition, Ms James confirmed that eligibility conditions for the grant will be extended to include all social housing tenants who were not in receipt of housing-related benefits when they built up Covid-related rent arrears.

Advising that funding of the scheme will be limited to the remainder of this financial year, Ms James added that -

‘I would therefore urge all tenants who are experiencing hardship as a consequence of Covid-related rent arrears to apply to their local authority for the Tenancy Hardship Grant or the Discretionary Housing Payment.’

Ms James’ written statement is available from gov.wales