Hackney Council has urged the Government to extend the ban on local authority evictions amid fears from private renters of homelessness once the current restrictions are lifted on June 25.
The plea is part of the Council’s long-term plan to secure the private rented sector.
In a letter to Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities, and local government, the Council said: “We welcomed the three-month moratorium on evictions announced by the Government in March but this must now be extended,”
The Council said the government can protect renters by “banning using non-payment of rent due to Coronavirus as a basis for eviction”.
Because of the pandemic, a large population is facing a financial crunch. In the three-month ban, landlords could not evict renters but they were still charging the entire rent. Once the ban is lifted, there will be an increase in the number of evictions for those who are going through financial hardship due to the virus. The council said: “There must be a better package of government support and at the very least an equity with the support offered to those that own their own homes.”
London Renters Union’s cantpaywontpay campaign is also encouraging the government to introduce greater renter protections. Renters from all across London have joined the campaign and are “demanding an end to evictions, cancellation of rent debt and benefits available to *all* who need them”, said the LRU in a tweet.
As the fear of post-lockdown eviction continues to grow, Hackney Council has made attempts to protect the tenants. “We have continued to work hard to support households that find themselves homeless during the pandemic, and currently have over 150 rough sleepers in emergency accommodation who we are seeking to find settled homes,” said the Council. The council fears that the homelessness caused by evictions will lead to large scale transmission of coronavirus.
The Council has also requested the landlords to do everything possible to protect the tenants from high rents and evictions. In a letter to landlords, Councillor Sem Moema, mayoral advisor for renting and housing affordability, said: “Regardless, of the regulations required by the government, I strongly encourage you to help Hackney set the right example and provide your tenants with the support they need”.