To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that early intervention support is available for tenants experiencing difficulties in meeting the cost of their rent.
22 July 2021
The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support during the pandemic, which is available to tenants.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit are in place until the end of September helping renters to continue paying their rent. Local housing allowance rates have been maintained at their increased level in cash terms in 2021/22, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the local housing allowance rates applied in April 2020.
For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. For 2021-22 the Government has made £140 million available in DHP funding, building on the £180m provided last year.
To help those at risk of homelessness we are providing local authorities with £310 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This funding represents a £47 million increase on the previous year's funding and can be used to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions, and to ensure families have a roof over their head. Tenants in need of additional support should speak to their local council for more information.
Renters also continue to benefit from longer notice periods, giving them more time to make alternative arrangements. As of 1 June, until at least 30 September, notice periods must be at least 4 months except in the most egregious cases. Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.