Government must continue protecting renters from eviction
When this crisis began, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus would be forced out of their home. We now need him to follow through on that commitment.
The government eviction ban did help to protect people who would have otherwise been made homeless. But it must be extended beyond August 23 and continue until the government clarifies exactly how renters will be protected from eviction.
We’d like to see legal protections put in place where landlords negotiate payment plans with tenants who need some time to get back on their feet. And although those legal protections do not currently exist, we encourage landlords to do the right thing and start working with their tenants now.
Last year, around 1400 people were at risk of homelessness when they were referred into the Kent Homeless Connect service we run on behalf of Kent County Council. The most common reason for this was eviction.
Since lockdown began, our helpline has had an increase in calls from people worried about the threat of eviction, and we’ve been working with councils and other organisations to help them access housing benefit, other forms of financial aid, and to get support for the emotional stress this creates.
We're committed to working with councils to continue providing support for those that need it. But without government action, there is a real danger that many people will lose their homes. It’s time for them to act and prevent more homelessness.