FINANCIAL aid for businesses and residents who pay council fees or rents is to be continued.

City of York Council is putting in place plans to ensure that help carries on for those who need it most.

The authority has been helping with funding schemes since the coronavirus pandemic started, and details are being finalised to continue that support, with a decision session due later this month.

The Press Love Local Business campaign is highlighting the support available as communities get back on their feet, with the reopening of shops, businesses, and hospitality operators.

In April the council announced a three-month freeze on the council housing rent increase; the extension of the York financial assistance scheme for residents; a £1 million emergency fund for businesses; a three-month deferral of commercial rents and a raft of other measures to help residents and businesses.

A new hardship fund is now being established for council tenants affected by rent increases with an initial sum of £80,000 which will be kept under review.

Council housing tenants who can pay rent as usual will be asked to pay the agreed increased rent charge. Those who can’t will be encouraged to talk to housing officers and will be able to apply to the hardship fund.

Commercial tenants will be able to benefit from a deferral of rent for a further three months, if required. The council will also ensure repayments can be made over an extended period of up to two years.

From this month, the council will write to all its commercial tenants to discuss any financial support available to them.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said: “York businesses have received over £110 million in reliefs and grants and financial support and, throughout these unprecedented times, we have supported residents and businesses as much as we can.

“That hasn’t changed and this announcement ensures that commercial tenants who need support can continue to access it. I would urge any tenant who is struggling to contact us and we will do all we can to help.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “The setting up of this new fund for our tenants in greatest need is another way we are working to support them.

“We know these are incredibly difficult times for people and we want to make sure that financial support continues for those who need it, and we are committed to make sure that happens.”

Residents in need of assistance due to the coronavirus can get help by calling 01904 551550 or emailing

To highlight further support available to residents and businesses as they recover from the coronavirus crisis, email