What should I do if I am worried about how I will pay my rent?

The Government has outlined measures to protect people’s wages with the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which sets out to cover up to 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month (backdated to March 1st 2020). Check here to see if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government is also increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months, by £1,000 a year. The basic element of Working Tax Credit is increasing by £1,045 to £3,040 from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. In addition, the Government is strengthening the safety net for self-employed people too, by suspending the minimum income floor for everyone affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus.

On the 26th March, the Chancellor announced that the Government will pay self-employed people adversely affected by the coronavirus with a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month. If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) you can apply for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme scheme.

The Government has also confirmed that a £500 million hardship fund will provide council tax relief for vulnerable households.

A voucher scheme has been launched by the Government for schools providing free school meals. Weekly shopping vouchers worth £15 will be issued to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus. You can also check if you can get Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare during coronavirus.

If you are having any problems paying your rent, discuss these with your Regional Housing Manager who can offer further advice based on your circumstances. English Rural has a social purpose, and this means that we will understand and support you when you face financial challenges.

The rent setting policy applied by English Rural means that none of our rents are above the level at which you will be able to receive financial support from the Government. Claiming financial support from the Government can take time and the important thing is to start this as soon as your circumstances change. Contact your dedicated Regional Housing Manager if you are unsure about how to do this. They will be ready and willing to help you.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau offers further advice if you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus.

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