SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) has received part of a £10 million funding pot to help stop evictions caused by COVID-19.

The Scottish Government’s tenant grant fund aims to support people who have fallen into rent arrears as a direct result of the pandemic.

SBC has been awarded a £175,000 grant, with a further £9,000 for administration of the fund.

Back in September, housing secretary Shona Robison (pictured) said: “These grants will support tenants and landlords who are willing to work together to address rent arrears and agree a repayment plan to ensure the tenant is able to avoid eviction.

“Councils have substantial experience in supporting people who have fallen behind on their rent, and are therefore well placed to work with both tenants and landlords in making use of this grant fund.

“Anyone who has been financially impacted by the pandemic and needs help to avoid eviction should contact their local authority housing department to discuss their circumstances.”

The money will go to the landlord, rather than the individual, a meeting of SBC’s executive committee heard this week.

The fund is available to all tenants living in the private and social rented sector at risk of homelessness, according to a report put to councillors.

It is specifically to help repay rent arrears that have arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic between March 23, 2020, and August 9, 2021.

Arrears before March 23 last year will not be covered, the report states. Meanwhile, arrears after August 9 can only be covered in “exceptional circumstances”.

SBC is “liaising urgently” with its partners to assess the scale of demand for the fund, with the money having to be used by March 31 next year.