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£10m support for rent debt during pandemic praised

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John Swinney also announced rights' awareness campaign

A new £10m grant fund to help tenants who have fallen into rent arrears due to covid has been announced by John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister.

Swinney said the government would work towards making the fund available towards the end of this year and would “work with stakeholders over the coming weeks on the details.”

He also announced a new awareness raising campaign to ensure all tenants are aware of their rights against landlords.

“These are crucial interventions that will help tenants and landlords move towards a sustainable, fair recovery from the effects of the pandemic,” he added.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has been working with the Private Rented Sector Resilience Group to share evidence with government since the pandemic began, and developed recommendations to ensure that renters were not left behind in the recovery, focused on grant support to help renters in arrears.

CAS spokesperson Nina Ballantyne said: “CAS is pleased to see the Scottish Government recognise the need for exactly this kind of support. Our evidence has shown consistently that people were still falling through the gaps, with rent arrears mounting up through factors completely out of their control.

“It’s been a hard time for so many people, and the threat of eviction hanging over your head will have only made things harder. Establishing a grant like the one we’ve been calling for through the Private Rented Sector Resilience Group will give people the hope and the means to get through the pandemic without losing their home.

“We welcome this news from Scottish Government and look forward to helping ensure this fund can reach all those who need it.” 



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