Charities call for eviction ban extension

Housing charities are calling on the Government to extend the ban on evictions which it imposed during the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 11:26 am
Updated Thursday, 10th September 2020, 11:27 am
Calls are being made for the Government to extent the current ban on evictions

The call came as new figures show that South Tyneside's county court received one property repossession claim from a landlord during the virus lockdown.

Housing campaigners ACORN had called for the ban on new evictions from social and private housing to be extended beyond September 20 – warning thousands will be at risk of homelessness when it is lifted.

Though bailiff and eviction activities were paused as part of the ban, claimants have still been able to lodge property possession claims ahead of court eviction cases resuming.

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Ministry of Justice data shows one property possession claim was submitted to the South Shields County Court between April and June – down from 118 in the same period last year.

Nationally, the number of possession claims made between April and June fell to 3,183 – down 90%.

ACORN is calling on the Government to urgently extend protections for all, including those behind on their mortgage payments.

Mortgage payment holidays, first introduced in March, are also set to end on October 31.

Tom Renhard, ACORN national chair, said: "The latest figures show thousands of people at risk and this is likely to spike as the furlough scheme comes to an end and many more people may struggle to pay their bills.

"We are in the middle of a public health emergency and people being made homeless could increase the risk of Covid-19 cases."

Homeless charity Crisis said the figures confirm banning evictions and extending the notice period was the right thing to do.

Jon Sparkes, Crisis chief executive, said: “As jobs cuts are coming in thick and fast, we know that tens of thousands of people may struggle to find somewhere cheaper to live even with six months’ notice.

"The Government still has time to intervene and protect people from being swept into homelessness. We urgently need renters who are struggling to afford their rent and in arrears given financial support from Government.”

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “We’ve taken unprecedented action to support renters. These measures strike a fair balance.”