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1 June, 2020 Open access

Chartered Institute of Housing calls on government and landlords to act now to avoid post-COVID spike in evictions

Key among Institute’s proposals are to extend current ban on evictions and prevent evictions solely arising from COVID-related arrears

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has today published proposals aimed at avoiding a potentially disastrous spike in evictions once current coronavirus-related protections end.

In Protect tenants from arrears, evictions and homelessness - An urgent call to government for action, CIH welcomes the government’s actions so far to temporarily protect tenants and help them meet their housing costs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis - through measures to sustain people’s incomes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and other income protection schemes, and by a temporary halt to evictions - but warns that longer-term measures are urgently needed to find a ‘post-COVID’ solution to the likely crisis of a substantial spike in rent arrears and evictions if there is a recession and mass unemployment.

Key among CIH's proposals for England are to -

Commenting on the proposals, CIH chief executive Gavin Smart said:

‘While the measures put in place by government and landlords are helping millions of people during this awful time, we have to think about what comes next. Simply ending all these measures without a plan to cope with the arrears built up through the outbreak risks pushing families into homelessness and landlords into bankruptcy, just at a time when a stable housing sector is needed to help rebuild our economy.

Our proposals build on the work we have done with homelessness groups including Crisis and Shelter, as well as housing providers. They are practical and proportionate to the threat facing millions of people. We look forward to working with the government to make them part of our national post-COVID recovery plan.’

For more information, see CIH calls on governments and landlords to act now to avoid a post-COVID spike in evictions from cih.org

NB - corresponding proposals, with region-specific variations, have also been published by CIH Scotland, CIH Cymru and CIH Northern Ireland.