Posted in February 2021
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has once again called on The Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to offer more to financially support landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is after the government announced on 2nd February 2021 an extra £50m of financial support for students in England to help them with their accommodation costs.
The Universities Minister Michelle Donelan announced on Tuesday, that thousands of students will be benefitting from an additional £50m of support to help them with financial pressures caused by the pandemic.
This is in addition to the £20m announced in December 2020, which brings the total of financial support for students to £70m for this financial year.
The new funding means that universities will be able to help students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, including those facing extra costs for alternative accommodation.
The increase in financial support comes as the majority of students have been asked to continue their studies remotely and not travel back to their university campus/student accommodation, as part of measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus around the country.
This latest announcement follows the decision from many universities and accommodation providers, to offer rent rebates for students who need to stay away from their term-time address. The government has encouraged others to join them and offer students partial refunds.
Michelle Donelan said “The additional £50m that we are announcing will mean we have distributed £70m for hardship in this financial year alone – on top of the £256m of government-funded student premium which universities can use for student support this academic year.”
“This additional support will provide real, tangible help for those students struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.”
She further added: “The government also welcomes the decision from many universities and accommodation providers to offer rent rebates for students who need stay away from their term-time address, and encourages others to join them and offer students partial refunds.”
Whilst the NRLA welcomed the news of further financial support, it begged the question why student renters are being treated differently to all others, according to Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA.
He commented: “Given students are continuing to receive maintenance loans alongside this new funding, Ministers need to explain why the same support is not being provided to other renters struggling as a result of the pandemic.
“Our figures suggest that seven per cent of private renters have built arrears due to coronavirus whilst the government has admitted that private renters have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The chancellor needs urgently to develop a package to help tenants pay off arrears built since lockdown measures started last March just as is happening for students. This is the only way that tenants and landlords can sustain tenancies and ensure renters do not face the damaging consequences of their credit scores being severely impacted.”
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