The Labour party and the UK’s two key housing campaign groups have simultaneously called for a new evictions ban to be implemented in England, but have been rebuffed by the government.
Citing the start of the new lockdown tomorrow, Labour’s shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire, Shelter chief executive Polly Neate and Generation Rent director Alicia Kennedy have all called on Ministers to re-instate the evictions ban that lapsed on 21st September.
“As we head into a second lockdown on Thursday, it is essential that renters and homeowners have re-assurance that they will be safe in their homes,” says Debbonaire.
Kennedy adds: “Putting workers back on 80% of wages with benefits insufficient to cover the rent means that once again thousands face getting into debt.
“The Government must suspend eviction proceedings again to give renters assurance that they can stay safely in their homes.”
Neate says: “With England set to enter another national lockdown and Covid cases on the rise, the Government needs to move again to make sure no-one is forced out of their home this winter by banning evictions nationwide.
“It is simply too dangerous to allow more people to become homeless now.”
But despite this united front, government sources say the unprecedented measures already taken to protect tenants are sufficient, although the situation will be kept ‘under review’.
Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action says an evictions ban in all but name is already under way because bailiffs have been requested not proceed with warrants during the lockdown, and that after that the ‘Christmas truce’ on evictions announced by the government means evictions will not re-start until 11th January.