Wales has launched a first of its’ kind financial scheme to help tenants affected by coronavirus
The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, has announced an £8 million Welsh Government Tenancy Saver Loan scheme to help tenants struggling with rent arrears due to coronavirus. The scheme is launching today and will be the first of its’ kind in the UK.
Seven credit unions in Wales will be responsible for providing the loans.
“The launch of this Scheme is good news for the sector. It will help sustain tenancies and keep the rent flowing across Wales. Throughout the pandemic, ARLA Propertymark has highlighted issues affecting letting agents and campaigned for additional support, so it is really positive that the Welsh Government has listened and taken action.
Agents in Wales should continue to work closely with landlords and tenants and raise awareness of the scheme. This will ensure that tenants who need help during this challenging time, receive it.”
How the Tenancy Saver Loan will work:
The Tenancy Saver Loan scheme will offer 1% APR loans to be repaid directly to landlords or agents, over a period of up to 5 years. The loan will enable Landlords and letting agents to provide an affordable way to cover rent arrears or future months’ rent. This will also reduce the risk of eviction and homelessness.
Once a tenant has applied for the loan they will be able to access support and advice services to help them manage their financial situation.
How can tenants access the loan scheme?
Tenants can access this scheme in a variety of ways. Landlords and agents can signpost tenants through the following routes:
- Contact Credit Unions directly: https://creditunionsofwales.co.uk/tsl/
- Completing an online enquiry form: https://creditunionsofwales.co.uk/tsl/
- Referred through the Welsh Government’s Early Alert scheme for rent arrears and other debt in the private rented sector. This is being delivered by Citizens Advice Cymru.
- Downloadable flyers can be found on participating Credit Union websites: https://creditunionsofwales.co.uk/tsl
Applications for the Scheme will be accepted until 31 March 2021.
The Cambrian Credit Union – which covers the majority of counties in Wales – has stressed that this is not a grant, but a lifeline. Ann Francis, The Union Manager, said:
“We would stress that this is a loan scheme of last resort and not a grant. It may be that not every applicant will receive a loan, but credit unions will be making referrals to appropriate bodies to ensure that private tenants are signposted to the help they need.”Ann Francis, Manager of the Cambrian Credit Union