Glasgow City Council has received £1.542million - from the Scottish Government's Tenant Grant Fund - to support private and social rented tenants who have incurred rent arrears as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Landlords and tenants in both sectors can request financial help from the fund which aims to support those who have faced financial distress during the public health emergency leading them to have tenancy arrears, placing their tenancy at risk.
Administered by officers from across the council, the grant will seek to prevent and alleviate homelessness - a key part of Glasgow's Housing Strategy.
Awards should be considered where a tenant meets the following eligibility criteria:
· Tenants within the Private or Social Rented Sector who have built up rent arrears, due to Covid-19, between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021.
· The tenant is at risk of homelessness
· The landlord has agreed to cease any eviction proceedings related to arrears owed upon issuance of the grant payment.
· Tenants must still reside at the property in which their arrears were accrued.
· Tenants must be aware that a grant application will be made on their behalf.
Where a tenant had arrears prior to the pandemic, then an award would only be considered where the tenant has come to an arrangement with the landlord to repay the applicable amount for arrears accrued outwith the award period; and/or a landlord has agreed to write off all or part of the non-applicable arrears.
In order to ensure that there is a wide and fair distribution of grant to meet the most pressing cases, the council has divided the fund by sector according to the number of properties within each.
Applicants to the grant will be required to provide relevant evidence in support of their application including, but not limited to:
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and external partners will be required to identify potential applicants and submit an application detailing the application(s) for any tenant who they believe to meet the criteria for an award.
In terms of applications from the Private Rented Sector (PRS), referrals from the council's Community Homelessness and Private Rented Sector Housing & Welfare teams will be the first cases considered and referred to the Tenant Grant Fund for support. In parallel to this, the council will work closely with tenant support organisations and Law Centres for further referrals of PRS tenants.
All payments will be made direct to the landlord in order that they can credit the tenant's rent account.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: "This funding will support those people and families who have - through no fault of their own, and as a result of the pandemic - found themselves in arrears that put their tenancy in jeopardy. We will work with housing associations, private landlords and organisations across the sector to support as many tenants as possible avoid this distressing prospect."
Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow's Convenor for Health & Social Care, said: "The Covid-19 Tenant Grant Fund will play an important role in tackling homelessness in Glasgow. By working with tenants and landlords to alleviate rent arrears and sustain tenancies on an ongoing basis, we will be able to prevent homelessness and support people and families suffering as a result of financial hardship caused by the pandemic."