22 December
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West Lothian Council has received £326,000 from the Scottish Government's Tenant Grant fund to help those struggling with rent arrears who may be at risk of homelessness.
The fund will be open to tenants of the private landlords, registered social landlords and the council, with grants specifically to repay rent arrears between 23 March 2020 and 9 August 2021.
Landlords will be able to refer their tenants for consideration for a grant, with a short-life working group set up involving officers from council services including Housing, Anti-poverty and Revenues to manage disbursement before 31 March 2022.
Once confirmed, full details of the scheme will be communicated to landlords, with information updated on the council website to assist landlords to make referrals.
Executive councillor for services for the community George Paul said: "We know that many families in West Lothian have been severely affected financially by the pandemic.
"This fund aims to provide one-off grants for families who have incurred rent arrears as a result of covid-19.    
"These additional funds will help West Lothian families get back on their feet financially, preventing tenants from potentially being evicted and becoming homeless."
Staff from the Advice Shop will also offer advice on energy, benefits and money to tenants to help ensure tenancies are sustainable going forward.