People struggling to pay the rent because of the pandemic can count on extra advice and support from the council.
Published: Tuesday, 2nd November 2021
Cherwell District Council has won £102,000 of additional grant funding from the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities to ramp up help for private sector tenants.
It will mean that, for the first time, the council can help people impacted by COVID-19 clear rent arrears or help them secure alternative accommodation. The funding will also allow the council to dedicate more resources to providing assistance and advice to prevent homelessness.
Councillor Lucinda Wing, Lead Member for Housing, said: “It’s vital that anyone who is concerned that their home may be at risk gets in touch with us as soon as possible. There is real pressure on social housing at the moment, with problems of both supply and demand having been amplified by COVID. Unfortunately, people cannot assume that a social tenancy will be immediately available if their present accommodation falls through.
“It is more important than ever to keep people in their homes. With this extra grant support from the government, we are stepping up our work to prevent homelessness. We can offer assistance with rent arrears and advice for those worried about eviction, but this advice is more effective when delivered sooner rather than later.”
For people worried that they will lose their home due to rent arrears, the council can work with landlords to put repayment plans in place, and for anyone eligible, discuss discretionary housing payments to prevent eviction.
There are also incentives for private landlords to work with the council to place those at risk of homelessness into accommodation.
The council is also working to raise awareness of third-party schemes designed to keep people in their homes. They include the Housing Possession Mediation Pilot Scheme and Breathing Space, an initiative to help people struggling with debt, to get their finances back on track.
Tenants faced with eviction can also seek advice from the council’s tenancy relations officer on 01295 753751, from Citizens Advice, or from Shelter.
Anyone worried that they may become homeless should contact the council as early as possible on 01295 753751 or email@example.com
To access information about the housing register, help for landlords, the tenancy relations officer, homelessness support and other housing services, visit our housing pages.