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11 May, 2020 Open access

Emergency action needed to protect renters from eviction during the coronavirus crisis, says Shadow Housing Secretary

Thangam Debbonaire sets out a five point plan to protect renters from eviction, including by extending the temporary ban on evictions to six months or longer

Emergency action is needed to protect renters from eviction during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing Thangam Debbonaire has said.

Warning that the current measures introduced to protect private renters - including a stay on possession proceedings for 90 days from 27 March 2020 - fall well short of adequately protecting people from homelessness when they cannot pay their rent, Ms Debbonaire calls for five additional changes -

Commenting on the measures, Ms Debbonaire said -

‘Current protections for people renting their homes are woefully inadequate. Unless the government acts now, many thousands of tenants will be at risk of losing their homes.

The government has paused evictions for three months and answered Labour’s call to increase the Local Housing Allowance. Both are welcome, but do not go far enough. It will take time for people to recover from this crisis and they need all the support we can give them to prevent what would be an unprecedented and devastating spike in homelessness.

In the long term we need to fix the housing crisis - with stronger rent regulations and much more affordable and social housing - so that everyone has a home that is safe, secure, environmentally sustainable, and that they can afford to live in. What we need right now is an emergency package to set us on that path.

Every Thursday we clap for key workers but many of them live in homes that are overcrowded, unsafe or expensive. When we emerge from this public health crisis, we cannot go back to business as usual.’

Emergency action needed to protect renters is available from labour.org.uk