A Labour housing politician is accusing the government of using Coronavirus as an excuse for dragging its feet over scrapping Section 21.
The government is committed to scrapping the eviction power for landlords as part of its Renters Reform Bill, which has been delayed because of Coronavirus.
But Labour says it’s time for the government to take action.
“Shelter is the most basic human need and nobody should be without it. The last thing we want to see is anybody losing their homes, and finding themselves sleeping rough or in unsuitable accommodation” says Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesman Murad Qureshi.
“People have enough to deal with when it comes to trying to stay safe during a global pandemic, not to mention the additional toll that pandemic is taking on some people’s capacity to keep a roof over their heads. It’s incredibly frustrating to see the government continue to drag their heels over putting an end to no fault evictions.
“Using the pandemic as an excuse for inaction is also completely unacceptable, especially when hundreds of households in London were threatened with homelessness due to the issuing of section 21 notices during the first lockdown.
“On top of all this, the government are short-changing London when it comes to ensuring rough sleepers have access to safe accommodation over the winter.
“For the sake of basic compassion and containing the spread of the new, more infectious strain of the virus, the Government must urgently make up this funding gap and bring forward their plans to outlaw no fault evictions”.
Qureshi has written to the government to express his concern.
He’s been told that the Section 21 evictions ban will be introduced with the passing of the Renters’ Reform Bill. This will happen after the government responds to the formal consultation over the ban.
This response will happen after the “urgent concerns of this [Coronavirus] emergency” says the government.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says the government has provided local authorities with £3.2m of targeted funding to help those at risk to self-isolate, alongside a separate and wider £1.6 billion fund, of which a portion could be allocated to support homeless people and vulnerable groups.