Shelter is calling for greater protection for renters facing financial difficulties.
The extended ban on evictions announced on Friday will not be enough to prevent a hike in homelessness without urgent emergency measures to protect renters, according to the housing charity.
Shelter says that the number of private tenants in England who have fallen behind on rent has already doubled during the coronavirus crisis, as many people face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
A third of calls from private renters to its emergency helpline since March were from people concerned about losing their current home, while 42% were considered at risk of homelessness.
Shelter estimates that around 174,000 renters have so far been warned by their landlord that they are facing eviction, while up to 58,000 people have moved out after being asked to leave during lockdown.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, commented: “The government must not waste this precious time that it has bought itself.”
He added: “Once parliament resumes, judges must be given extra powers to stop renters losing their homes because of rent arrears caused by coronavirus.
“And longer term, we desperately need major reforms to make renting fairer, affordable and more secure.”
Crisis also wants the government to create a longer term solution by addressing the issue rather than simply further extending the ban.
Matt Downie, director of policy at Crisis, told the press: “This is not the first time that we’ve had to reach the 11th hour to find out whether people desperately worried about homelessness will be protected from evictions.
“It creates deep concern, stress amongst people themselves who know that landlords want to evict them, but also for all of us trying to make sure we don’t see another wave of homelessness.
“It’s not a responsible way to go about managing people living in precarious situations up and down the country, and we very much hope September 20 doesn’t lead to us having to have exactly the same conversation on the 18th or 19th of September.”
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