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Scotland’s hardship fund opens for business

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Scotland’s £10m Tenant Hardship Loan Fund offering interest-free loans to tenants struggling with Covid-induced rent arrears has opened for applications, the Scottish Government has announced.

The primary aim of the fund is to help tenants who have lost financially due to the Coronavirus pandemic but who can’t claim support from other means, such as welfare benefits

Long-term loans will be available to cover a maximum of nine months’ rent arrears – the nine-month total can include up to three months of future rent payments but no arrears owing from before 1 January 2020. Loans are available to both social and private rented sector tenants and are subject to affordability assessments. Applications can be completed online

‘There is no single solution to the difficulties being experienced as a result of the impacts of the pandemic in Scotland, and the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund is a part of a broader effort to support those who are affected’, said Housing Minister Kevin Stewart.

‘We want people to access the most appropriate form of financial support. For the majority of tenants facing financial difficulties and arrears the best means of support is regular non-repayable support, for example through Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments.

‘However, for those who may fall through the gap and are unable to claim such support, or who might be thinking of borrowing, this new fund will be a helping hand to manage any rent issues that have arisen in the last few months as a result of the impact of COVID-19’.