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Hardship Fund

Bushbury Hill EMB - COVID19 Hardship Fund

Nationally, we are facing unprecedented times as a result of the recent global pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many of our tenants could find themselves on the frontline of the financial crisis, in precarious jobs in retail or hospitality industries or be self employed and experiencing a reduction or sudden loss of income.

A hardship fund is available to alleviate some of the problems associated with extreme indebtedness associated with the effects of COVID-19. A total £50,000 will be allocated from TMO allowances to the fund. Access to the fund will be allocated on a need basis and until such time that the fund is exhausted. The fund will operate throughout the financial year 01/04/2020 – 31/03/2021.

Purpose of the fund

• To assist tenants who are prevented from attending work due to contracting COVID-19
• To assist tenants who experience a loss of income as a result of self-isolation due to exposure to COVID-19
• To assist tenants who experience a loss of income as a result of statutory sick pay or imposed leave from their normal place of work.
• To Tenants who are furloughed and on a reduced income
• To assist tenants who are unable to attend work to enable them to care for family members affected by COVID-19
• To assist tenants who have been required to take unpaid leave to care for a child who is unable to attend school as a result of an enforced school closure.

The fund is available to all tenants of Bushbury Hill EMB. Members of the Community who live in the private rented sector or hold a tenancy with a registered social landlord are not eligible for the fund.

The fund is only available to tenants who experience a loss in earnings as a result of COVID-19. Including those who are on SSP, those tenant’s who have been furloughed on 80% of earnings and those people who are self employed and whose business has suffered.

Applying for the COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Applications to the fund are available online and at the Management Centre when we re-open. The application must be completed by the tenant. If the tenant is unable to complete an application, a nominated person who holds a ‘power of attorney’ may complete the form on their behalf. In instances where a tenant has been hospitalised for a period of time a retrospective application may be made no later than 1 month after discharge.

Evidence List
• Wage slips showing loss of income
• Letter from employer
• Letter from GP or discharge notes
• Letters from school or childcare provider
• Proof of power of attorney 
• Bank statements showing change in income

Assessing the Claim

The Chief Officer will ensure that the qualifying criteria has been met by the tenant. The tenant will be contacted confirming receipt of the application with a timescale of expected decision.

A panel of 2 members of staff from (1 manager and 1 of the tenancy team) will consider the completed application within 10 working days. Following the decision, the tenant will be informed in writing within 5 working days (currently this would have to be by email)

The panel, when making a decision will consider the following;
• The reason for the application
• Evidence of loss of income
• Mitigating circumstances, such as school closures
• Vulnerability

All applications will be given full and unprejudiced consideration.

Tenants will be permitted to one application per household. Following a decision to award funding a maximum payment of 4 weeks rent will paid direct to the rent account on the last working day of the month that the application was considered. No cash payments will be made and there is no right to appeal as the fund is a voluntary arrangement offered by Bushbury EMB.

Hardship Fund Application.docx

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