MPs warn of ‘new wave of homelessness’ when eviction ban ends this week

Landlords told the government extending the ban was unnecessary

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK doubled between 2012 and 2017
The number of people sleeping rough in the UK doubled between 2012 and 2017

A “new wave of homelessness” could sweep England when a ban on evictions ends this month, MPs have warned.

The temporary extra security for tenants was introduced in March to protect people hit by the pandemic, but the government has declined to extend it despite a coming recession.

Now a group of 21 MPs says the the UK government should guarantee funding for local authorities to house anyone forced to sleep rough.

The ban had originally been set to end in England on 25 June but it was extended to 23 August – this Sunday.

The Scottish government says it might extend its similar ban to March 2021, while the Welsh government has doubled the notice period required for evictions to six months, with some conditions.

In a letter, first reported by the BBC, the MPs wrote to rough sleeping minister Luke Hall: “Some local authorities are in the process of confirming and funding accommodation for rough sleepers for another year, however it is so important that all councils are able to provide this.

“We cannot put a cut-off on showing all those in need compassion at this time,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by 10 Liberal Democrat MPs, including the party’s two leadership candidates Layla Moran and Ed Davey. It was also signed by nine Labour MPs and one DUP MP.

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK already doubled between 2012 and 2017.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government spokesperson said the government had taken “unprecedented action to support the most vulnerable people in our society during the pandemic”.

They added: “Nearly 15,000 rough sleepers have been housed in emergency accommodation since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ve also ensured no tenants have been evicted at the height of Covid.”

Last week new figures showed that UK employment fell by 220,000 between April and June, the largest quarterly fall since the aftermaths of the global financial crisis in 2008.

While unemployment has yet to rise significantly, it is expected to hit record highs when the government’s furlough scheme ends later this year.

The National Residential Landlords Association welcomed the end of the eviction ban and said it was “not necessary” to extend it.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in