The council is using the money to try and stop tenants from the private rented sector becoming homeless, in line with the government’s criteria around how the grant can be spent to make sure it is only used for this purpose.
Cllr Simon Webb, Vice Chair of Communities, Housing and Environment Committee at Maidstone Borough Council said:
“This government grant will not only help to prevent homelessness in the borough, we hope it should also strengthen our relationships with private rented landlords who may think we cannot support them unless a tenant is about to be evicted. It will really help those people who are on the brink of losing their homes. We are calling on residents or landlords in difficult financial situations to get in touch.”
The grant can also be used to help people in social housing and owner occupiers in order to improve existing support that is available for these households. The funding benefits include:
* Boost support for private rented sector tenants to financially recover from the impact of the pandemic and prevent them losing their homes;
* Support landlords in recovering from the loss of rental payments received where the tenants have fallen into rent arrears; and
* Support the containment of COVID-19 outbreaks by supporting households to remain in their existing homes and prevent households from becoming street homeless, or resulting in insecure and transient housing arrangements.
The grant has been awarded as a result of the Kent Housing Group (KHG) successfully securing £2.5m in a recent Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) bid to Kent County Council. Each local housing authority in the county gets £175,000 to support tackling rent arrears and adverse financial affects suffered due to the pandemic. COMF funding is time limited and has to be spent by 31 March 2022.
If you are a landlord with tenants who have fallen into rent arrears, please visit https://supportforkentlandlords.co.uk/
If you are a Maidstone resident and at risk of losing your home please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/home/primary-services/housing for details of how to contact the Housing Advice Team, as well as general advice and information.