A NEW £500,000 fund to help council housing tenants in East Ayrshire cope with the increasing cost of living is expected to get the green light this week.

A report by officials from East Ayrshire Council (EAC) asks members of the local authority’s cabinet to approve the creation of the new Tenant Support Fund. 

The report says the fund will enable the council’s housing services department to prevent homelessness by reducing, alleviating or paying off rent arrears, to provide fuel support, and, in exceptional circumstances, to give direct financial assistance to tenants.

Blair Millar, the authority’s head of housing and communities, says in the report: “Tenants are now facing impossible trade-offs in having to choose between paying their rent, fuel costs or feeding their household.

"The last few years has also seen a continued increase in the level of rent arrears owed by tenants, as well as an increase in the number of tenants claiming Universal Credit as we move towards the full migration of Universal Credit.”

The council’s cabinet will consider the report this Thursday, June 29.