Wales Tenancy Saver Loan scheme launches
The Welsh Government’s Tenancy Saver Loans, which allows tenants to apply for low-interest, affordable, paid-to-landlord loans to cover their coronavirus-related arrears, launched today.
The loan scheme, adopted following NRLA campaigning, will see tenants able to sustain tenancies through applying to credit unions for loans at 1% APR, with five years to repay the sum.
Applications will stay open until 31 March 2021 but will not be open to those who had substantial arrears (over two months’ rent) before 1 March 2020.
There is eligibility attached to accessing a loan through the scheme, including that the applicant:
- is a PRS tenant and holds a tenancy (fixed-term or periodic) for a home located in Wales
- was not in significant rent arrears e.g. at least 8 weeks of rent arrears prior to 1 March 2020
- is in rent arrears from 1 March 2020 or that the loan applicant is in rent arrears from 1 March 2020 and at point of application, will struggle to pay future rent (up to 3 months in advance) as a result of COVID-19
- is not in receipt of either housing benefit or housing cost payments through Universal Credit
- has a landlord and/or agent that is registered and/or licensed with Rent Smart Wales
- can afford to repay the loan, based on their income and affordability assessment
- had not applied and received a Tenancy Saver Loan through another provider for the period in question
Tenants can apply by contacting Credit Unions directly and/or completing an online enquiry form via creditunionsofwales.co.uk/tsl/. Tenants can also be referred through the Welsh Government Early Alert scheme for rent arrears and other PRS debt which is being delivered by Citizens Advice Cymru. Tenants can be signposted by their landlord, agent, friend, family member, or local authority.
The Tenancy Saver Loan scheme was originally announced in August. Before and since, the Welsh Government has taken steps to change the notice lengths around possession to tackle potential homelessness, anti-social behaviour, and domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch: NRLA policy and public affairs officer Calum Davies on the Tenant Saver Loans scheme in Wales and NRLA campaigning