Thousands of tenants who have struggled to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic face the prospect of losing their home when the government’s temporary ban on evictions ends next month, according to Generation Rent.
The government’s moratorium on evictions, which runs out on 23 August, is designed to protect tenants that could be facing financial hardship brought on by being furloughed or losing their job altogether.
Some tenants who have been unable to pay after losing work during the lockdown period are understood to be worried about meeting housing costs as the country eases back to normality step by step.
Generation Rent is warning that homelessness could treble this year unless the government acts to help private renters.
According to Generation Rent rates of rent arrears have increased from 4% before the pandemic to 13%, which could make 45,000 households homeless.
Responding to the warning Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, commented: “It’s deeply concerning that renters are at risk of losing their homes because of the huge and sudden pressure coronavirus has exerted onto their lives.
“Right now, many people are facing agonising stress and anxiety because they cannot pay their rent as, through no fault of their own, their job has been lost or their hours have been cut. This is made all the worse when we know that many thousands of renters are at risk of homelessness once the suspension on evictions comes to an end next month.
“It’s vital that we now focus our attention on ensuring that everyone has a safe and affordable home during this outbreak and beyond. That’s why we need the government to immediately bring forward emergency homelessness legislation to suspend the benefit cap and put in place emergency legal protections so that no one is unfairly evicted because of the pandemic.”