RISING rents and landlords selling up is leading to more people in a rural county needing the help of the housing support service.

A four year ‘housing support programme’ has been developed by Ceredigion council with a housing support grant a key element, and it will be submitted for approval by Welsh Government, with around £4million available.

During discussions of the programme at a scrutiny meeting the risk of increasing evictions was raised by Cllr Rhodri Evans in light of legislation changes later in the year, when the notice period for no fault evictions will increase from two months to six, and other factors.

The healthier communities overview and scrutiny committee heard that there was anecdotal evidence that more landlords were selling up and leaving the rental market while others were increasing rents and deposits required.

Official figures show that the number of Welsh households threatened with eviction had jumped by more than a quarter between 2021-2022. You can read more about that here.

Housing services corporate manager Llyr Hughes said that just this week someone had been told their rent was to rise by £150 and another resident was asked for a bond and six months rent in advance in order to secure a property “which is not feasible on any budget.”

Cllr Elaine Evans added that she had received more enquires in the last few months than the last five years about notices to quit, which landlords can issue even when their is no fault by the tenant, which she said is “very worrying.”

“A lot of people are unhappy and worried, and it’s affecting their mental health. I don’t know the way out, there’s not enough housing to accommodate the people that are looking for them,” she added.

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Mr Hughes said that the housing support team was available for these people, and he urged anyone struggling or concerned to get in touch, with early intervention support offered as well as grants to “prevent people from becoming homeless, stabilises their housing situation or helps potentially homeless people to find and keep accommodation.”

Welsh Government was also being lobbied regarding housing support rates with current allowances “no where near” the private rental rates and “rents are escalating.”

The programme includes a statement of need, a grants needs assessment and an integrated impact assessment, with a “light touch” review of the scheme in two years.

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