MSP for Hamilton. larkhall and stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, has said a new £10 million fund announced by the SNP Government will support people struggling to pay their rent across South Lanarkshire.

Announced earlier this week, the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund will open later this Autumn and offer interest-free loans to those unable to access other forms of support for their housing costs.

The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund which helps tenants in receipt of benefits will also increase by £3 million, bringing the total to £19 million. This is in addition to measures already in place to fully mitigate the Tory bedroom tax in Scotland.

The SNP Government has also extended legislation to protect private and social tenants from eviction until March 2021 – pending approval from Holyrood.

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Commenting, local MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“Coronavirus is the biggest health crisis of our time, but as we look to rebuild our economy and regain a sense of normality, we can’t simply go back to how things were.

“We know that the pandemic has hit the lowest earners hardest - that’s why the SNP Government has announced a range of measures designed at tackling inequality and supporting those who need it most.

“This new £10 million fund, coupled with existing housing benefits, will mean that no one in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse should be left in a position where they can’t access support to pay their rent.

“It’s only right that while we continue working together to suppress the virus, the SNP Government does all it can to support tenants during these tough times.”