North Lanarkshire Council tenants benefit from assistance fund

North Lanarkshire Council tenants benefit from assistance fund

Stephen Llewellyn, head of housing solutions

People struggling to make rent payments are continuing to benefit from support funding from North Lanarkshire Council.

The targeted support is available to council tenants who find themselves falling into rent arrears due to waiting times for Universal Credit payments and those who have seen their incomes reduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council took action earlier this year to offset some of these issues with the creation of a Universal Assistance Fund and Covid Hardship Fund which have so far supported more than 3,700 people with nearly £1.4m of funding being made available to those people who need it most.

Stephen Llewellyn, head of housing solutions, said: “This funding has assisted a significant number of people who would otherwise have fallen into arrears. Tenants must make their rent payments to keep up with the terms of their tenancy agreement. We are here to help and we would encourage anyone worried about rent arrears to talk to us so we can give them the support they need.”

Demand for help has increased throughout the year as more people experience financial hardship caused by delays in Universal Credit being paid and household incomes being reduced.

Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, convener of housing and regeneration, added: “Universal Credit and the coronavirus pandemic have been a double whammy of worry and confusion for lots of households. Many tenants would previously have had their rent paid directly from their housing benefit but that system has changed.

“Some tenants are finding themselves in arrears for the first time due to the built-in delays in receiving their first Universal Credit payment and we understand that this causes real concerns which is one of the reasons we put this fund in place. I would urge anyone worried about their rent payments to contact us so we can try and find a solution for you.”

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