One of the country’s best known Labour politicians wants the eviction ban extended yet again.
Currently there is a moratorium on bailiff-enforced evictions until February 22 because of Coronavirus.
However Andy Burnham - the former Health Secretary who is now Mayor of Greater Manchester - want this extended.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has proved extremely difficult for many in our city-region and we understand people may be in a worrying financial situation which they may never have experienced before” he says.
He continues: “We already have more than 4,000 households in temporary accommodation and are also supporting 1,000 people through our A Bed Every Night scheme.
“The homelessness system in our city-region cannot take much more, a sudden surge in evictions will create a huge amount of pressure and I urge government to reimpose the eviction ban to protect people who are in these circumstances through no fault of their own.”
Another Labour leader in the region - Paul Dennett, the lead councillor on housing for the various councils across Greater Manchester - adds: “It is crucial government steps up to provide direct financial support to protect tenants and offer assistance to help those in rent arrears. I also call on landlords to be compassionate during these unprecedented times and to consider the difficult circumstances tenants may find themselves in.
“During this unsettled period, the most important thing is for tenants and landlords to communicate with each other openly, honestly and constructively to avoid any preventable evictions.
“In some circumstances, landlords could consider reducing rent permanently, if a tenant’s income is reduced long term. And by offering a rent reduction that is less than the cost of re-letting, property owners can save money and sustain a tenancy - an often preferable outcome for all concerned.
“We are urging all parties to explore all routes and to be aware of the help out there, before anybody is unnecessarily put at risk of losing their tenancy. We will also continue to press government to provide additional support to help tenants and landlords through this unprecedented emergency.”
Labour says there are an estimated 16,800 households in Greater Manchester in arrears due to the pandemic.
A statement from Burnham’s office adds: “Landlords are also reminded that illegal eviction is a criminal offence, and they must follow the correct legal process - this is in place to protect both parties.”