COWDENBEATH MSP Annabelle Ewing has highlighted a new £10 million fund announced by the Scottish Government which will support constituents struggling to pay their rent.

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 effects of the UK Government's 'bedroom tax' in Scotland.

Ms Ewing added that the SNP Government has also extended legislation to protect private and social tenants from eviction until March 2021 – pending approval from Holyrood.

Speaking about the move, Ms Ewing 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 Scottish Government has announced a range of measures designed at tackling inequality and supporting those who need it most".

Ms Ewing went on: “I know that the fear of not being able to pay the rent will be a huge concern for struggling householders and I want to make sure that everyone knows about this new level of support that will become available very soon.

“This new £10 million fund, coupled with existing housing benefits, will mean that no one in my Cowdenbeath constituency 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.”