Activists in the Generation Rent campaign group are urging the government to introduce what it calls “a winter truce” with no evictions.
The Baroness who is the director of the group, Alicia Kennedy, says: “No evictions should take place during winter, given the risk to vulnerable people of being made homeless amid freezing conditions. Last winter’s truce brought England and Wales into line with other European countries and this should be put in place every year.
“This year a winter truce is even more urgent due to the heightened level of infections, the uncertainties posed by the Omicron variant, and the prospect of people who have already lost income since March 2020 facing the loss of their home at what should be the happiest time of the year.”
Her group contends that the lifting of restrictions on evictions at the start of autumn has seen evictions occur at a similar rate to before the pandemic.
It says that its interpretation of Ministry of Justice statistics suggest that between July and September 2021, evictions of private renters reached 87 per cent of the level they were in the same period in 2019.
Generation Rent estimates that if evictions occur at that level “then every working day will see 83 households evicted across all tenures. This includes 28 renter households evicted per day through the Section 21 process, which the landlord does not need a reason to use and the tenant cannot appeal.”
The activists says that in 2020, the government placed restrictions on bailiff enforcement of evictions from December 11 to prevent evictions from taking place at a time when rising cases of Covid-19 were putting additional strain on public services - it wants the same this time.
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