Labour MPs have quizzed junior housing minister Eddie Hughes over the effects of the ending of the eviction ban.
At the regular monthly House of Commons questions to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, the Labour MP Karen Buck asked Hughes what assessment had been made of the effect of ending the ban on both evictions and, as a consequence, homelessness.
This is Hughes’ response in full: “Although the ban on bailiff enforcement has ended, the measures that the government have introduced mean that fewer cases are progressing to eviction.
“Landlord possession claims were down by 74 per cent in quarter 1 of this year compared with the same period in 2020, and the number of families in temporary accommodation is at its lowest since 2016.
“For those who need more support, we are providing councils with £310m through the homelessness prevention grant—that is an uplift of £47m on last year—which can be used for financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions, or to provide temporary accommodation and ensure that families have a roof over their head.”
Another Labour MP - Florence Eshalomi - entered the debate to tell Hughes that a key way to prevent homelessesss was the ensure people were not evicted. She wanted to know when the government would act on its 2019 commitment to end Section 21 eviction powers.
Eshalomi claimed that in her own constituency of Vauxhall “many residents no face eviction” and also that “tenants in my constituency still face the constant threat of eviction.”
Hughes’ response was: “We remain committed to delivering a better deal for renters, including repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
“We will legislate, but it is only right that that legislation considers the impact of the pandemic and is a balanced set of reforms that improves the private rented market.
“A White Paper detailing our package of reforms to the private rented sector will be brought forward in the autumn.”
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