Welsh tenants struggling with Covid-related rent arrears are to get help from a new scheme which pays loans direct to landlords.
The Tenant Saver Loan Scheme aims to provide an affordable way to cover rent arrears, or future months’ rent, reducing the risk of eviction and homelessness. Loans are targeted at private sector tenants who weren’t in significant rent arrears before March and aren’t on benefits.
The Welsh government is funding the scheme with an £8m cash injection, providing loans through credit unions at 1% APR. Money will get paid straight into landlords’ bank accounts and tenants will have to pay back the loan over a period of up to five years. They won’t be means-tested and loans can only be used to cover rent arrears.
Minister for housing and local government, Julie James, says: “We hope to help stop many thousands of people from eviction or homelessness, although it’s hard to put exact numbers on it.”
Private rented homes
The Welsh government is on a mission to make sure as many people as possible facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic remain in their private rented homes.
Last month, it extended the notice period on evictions from three months to six before possession proceedings resume in the courts in England and Wales on 23rd August. It also announced an extra £1.4m to help tenants boost their household income and manage problem debt, through the Single Advice Fund.
James adds: “The coronavirus has shone a light on housing in a way that few of us have seen before and reminded us all of the fundamental importance of good-quality affordable housing, a safe and secure home and strong and cohesive communities where people want to live and work.”