Students: Housing

(asked on 12th April 2021) - View Source

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether student accommodation providers have been eligible for covid-19 business support and assistance during the outbreak.

Answered by
Kemi Badenoch Portrait
Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
This question was answered on 20th April 2021

The Government recognises that businesses up and down the UK are feeling the impact of this crisis. That is why the Government has put in place an economic package of support measures which are carefully designed to complement each other to ensure we provide businesses with certainty, even as measures to prevent further spread of the virus change.

UK businesses – including student accommodation providers where eligible – have benefitted from a range of these measures, including the generous Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and billions in government-backed loans.

In response to the current restrictions, and the Prime Minister’s roadmap to easing public health measures, the Chancellor announced further support at the recent Budget to businesses on top of our previous economic responses. This includes the extension of the CJRS until the end of September 2021, which provides a substantial grant for employers to cover 80% of the wages of their employees, and the new Recovery Loan Scheme (80% Government-guaranteed loans between £25,000 and £10 million), which opened on 6 April and will run until the end of the year.

We recognise that universities also rent accommodation to their students and are feeling the impact of this crisis. We have established the Higher Education (HE) Restructuring Regime, which may be deployed as a last resort, if a decision has been made to support a HE provider in England facing severe financial difficulties related to COVID-19. This is for when other steps to preserve its viability and mitigate the risks of financial failure have not proved sufficient. HE providers can also access the CJRS if they meet the published criteria.

As measures to control the virus change, it is right that Government support should also evolve. Because of this, we will continue to take a flexible but cautious approach as we review restrictions, ensuring support reflects the easing of restrictions to enable the private sector to bounce back as quickly as possible.

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