Laura Sharman 25 October 2021

Government announces £65m rent arrears support package

Government announces £65m rent arrears support package image

Councils will receive £65m to support low-income households in rent arrears due to the pandemic.

The funding - on top of the £500m Household Support Fund - will help councils to support vulnerable people at risk of eviction or homelessness.

Minister for rough sleeping and housing, Eddie Hughes, said: 'We have taken action throughout the pandemic to support the most vulnerable families, and it is vital we continue to provide support as we enter the winter months.

'This new funding will support families that are struggling and help to get them back on their feet as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.'

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: 'With winter approaching, the government is absolutely right to act to keep people safe in their homes and prevent a wave of evictions and homelessness. For those who can access it, this funding will be a lifeline.'

However, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) warned the funding was insufficient to tackle to scale of rent debts.

Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA, said: 'It is great news that those households worst hit by COVID related arrears may be able to access financial support. However, £65m does not fully reflect the scale of the problem. NRLA analysis has put the figure of COVID rent debts at over £300m.'

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