New government figures show 3,405 households in the private rented sector were evicted by bailiffs in England between April and June this year - up 39 per cent on the previous quarter.
But Baroness Alicia Kennedy, who leads the Generation Rent campaign group, says the situation will get worse because of the cost of living crisis.
"The number of court orders for evictions for rent arrears has never been higher. This is the aftermath of the pandemic when many renters didn't get enough support to cover the rent and are now losing their homes” she says.
"But it's going to get worse as energy bills climb further and more people face a devastating choice between paying rent, heating their home, and putting food on the table. Alongside a further package of financial support, the government must freeze rents and protect renters from eviction if they're struggling to stay on top of rent."
Shelter, too, says the autumn and winter may bring larger numbers of evictions.
The campaigning charity says its own research has discovered that almost two in three private renters say the current economic climate means that, if evicted, they’d struggle to afford the costs of moving.
Shelter says far too many renters are struggling to make ends meet and are at risk of losing their home, and it wants government to reverse the housing benefit freeze “so it reflects real housing costs.”
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate comments: “People who don’t leave their home before the bailiff comes are the ones who have run out of options and have nowhere else to go.
“Every day our emergency helpline supports people having to make impossible choices between putting food on the table or paying their rent. Housing costs are people’s biggest outgoing and those who have nothing left to cut back will soon be left with nowhere to call home.
“The government must urgently unfreeze housing benefit so it covers the true cost of renting before more families are evicted and pushed into homelessness. Whoever becomes the next Prime Minister needs to get a grip and put ending the housing emergency at the top of their to-do list.”
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