Rented Housing: Finance

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 8th November 2021.

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Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether local authorities will be able to support both social tenants and private renters with the £65 million support package for vulnerable renters announced in October 2021.

Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what proportion of the £65 million support package for vulnerable renters announced in October 2021 will be available for private renters.

Photo of Lucy Powell Lucy Powell Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the £65 million support package for vulnerable renters announced in October 2021 will be made available for renters with no recourse to public funds.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Government announced a £65 million top up to the Homelessness Prevention Grant in October to help vulnerable renters hit hardest by the pandemic from becoming homeless. The primary purpose of this exceptional one-off payment is to support low-income private renters with COVID-19 related rent arrears either by preventing eviction or by helping them to find a new home.

As with the existing Homelessness Prevention Grant, local authorities have flexibility to use this funding to meet this objective in the most appropriate way to meet local pressures. We are encouraging local authorities to use this money to support renters in the private rented sector; however Homelessness Prevention Grant funding can also be used to prevent homelessness from the social rented sector.

This funding is available for those eligible for statutory homelessness assistance and is not available for renters with no recourse to public funds. Whilst we recognise that supporting individuals with restricted eligibility can be challenging, local authorities must continue to use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give to each person on an individual basis, considering that person's specific circumstances and support needs.

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