The eviction ban extension is necessary – but Boris Johnson needs to find a long-term solution

Editorial: As with many elements of the coronavirus crisis, the time for stopgaps is over. A proper plan is needed

Friday 21 August 2020 21:11
The housing crisis has been exasperated by Covid-19
The housing crisis has been exasperated by Covid-19

Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has done the right thing, without much conviction. At the last moment yesterday he announced a further extension of the ban on evicting tenants until 20 September.

The government was right to ban evictions temporarily at the start of the coronavirus crisis, but never devised a plan for a return to normality. The ban has to be lifted, and soon, because otherwise the private rented market will seize up. The country needs responsible landlords, and they in turn need to be able to start, end and change tenancies.

But equally, as the opposition and housing charities have been pointing out with increasing urgency, there is a pent-up problem of some tenants in desperate straits, struggling with arrears, who cannot simply be cut adrift.

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