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Cambridge City Council

Council introduces rent arrears reduction scheme for private tenants

News release from 29 June 2021

PRIVATE tenants in Cambridge who are struggling to pay their bills can now apply for emergency financial assistance under a new scheme introduced by Cambridge City Council.

The new Rent Arrears Reduction Scheme is a short-term cash supplement designed to help private tenants who find themselves temporarily in financial difficulty pay off any arrears on their rent and keep their home.

The council is appealing both to tenants struggling with their rent, and to landlords and letting agents who know they have good tenants but who just need some additional financial assistance for a short period.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and its attendant increase in job insecurity for many, the council has become aware of a rise in the numbers of private tenants in Cambridge struggling to pay their rent.

This new scheme offers a solution for tenants and landlords, and is part of the council’s wider strategy to try and prevent homelessness before it occurs.

Tenants or landlords can apply to the Rent Arrears Reduction Scheme by emailing the Housing Advice Service on rars@cambridge.gov.uk or by phoning 01223 457918 for an application form.

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “The Rent Arrears Reduction Scheme is the latest in a series of measures by the council which are designed to prevent homelessness.

“Council landlords and housing associations are already doing their best to keep people in their homes, but around a third of local people rent from a private landlord.  A significant number of private renters are young, and we know that the pandemic has hit younger workers the hardest. 

“The Rent Arrears Reduction Scheme is not a give-away but the sensible, targeted use of a small amount of public money to help people keep a roof over their head and avoid the misery and waste of homelessness. The scheme has conditions – we will expect landlords and tenants to work together – but this will be to the benefit of both.”

For more information visit www.cambridge.gov.uk/rent-arrears-reduction-for-private-tenants-and-landlords