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23 September, 2020 Open access

As stay on evictions ends, Shelter calls for targeted interventions from government to get renters through the COVID-19 crisis

Implementing recommendations would help struggling renters pay off their arrears, pay the rent going forward, and help prevent a rising tide of homelessness

As the stay on evictions ends, Shelter has called for targeted help from the government to get renters through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

In a new report, Renters at Risk, getting through the coronavirus crisis, Shelter highlights that, with the stay on possession proceedings came to an end on 20 September 2020, help is urgently needed to keep families in their homes, including many who were secure prior to the pandemic but now find themselves in a precarious position.

Pointing out that even those who have managed to increase their income - so that they can pay the rent going forward - are at risk of eviction due to rent arrears, Shelter calls on the government to put in place a series of targeted interventions to help prevent a rising tide of homelessness - 

In conclusion, the report warns - 

'Without appropriate levels of funding, people who are losing work, coming to the end of furlough and unable to find new employment will find that universal credit does not allow them to even maintain the roof over their heads. Without help to pay off rent arrears built up during the pandemic, it is difficult to see how families will be able to get back on their feet once this pandemic, and ensuing economic crisis, is over. There is a very real risk that will exacerbate the homelessness crisis, and the scarring effects of the pandemic, economically, socially and health-wise, will be multiplied.'

For more information, see Renters at risk: Getting through the coronavirus crisis from shelter.org.uk