Extend the eviction ban: The government must act to prevent a new wave of homelessness

The UK ban on evictions ends on June 25. Stock image.

The UK ban on evictions ends on June 25. Stock image. - Credit: Archant

The current ban on evictions ends on June 25. The government must extend the deadline and overhaul the system.

Whatever the coronavirus is doing around the country, it’s clear we’re now squarely in the phase of rebooting the economy.

As lockdown eases we’ll begin to discover quite how much damage has been done to business and how many people are left unemployed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said from the start that the government will not be able to save every business, and that is clearly true.

On the day when non-essential shops are allowed to welcome customers once again, or later when restaurants and pubs can reopen, how many doors and shutters will simply remain shut?

The economy won’t simply restart as if nothing has happened.

The effect on many individuals already struggling to get by will be devastating.

Most Read

Mr Sunak’s furlough scheme has been unprecedented and he has extended it until October.

This is recognition that there is a long way to go and that significant measures will be needed to support many members of our community for many months to come.

The same thinking needs to be carried through to the ban on evictions.

At present the moratorium on new evictions comes to an end on June 25, meaning tenants could face the process beginning within a matter of weeks.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has not committed to whether the ban will be extended but he told MPs that there will be extra protection for renters with a duty imposed on landlords to “reach out” to tenants before a formal eviction process.

Theresa May’s government last year announced plans to end Section 21 “no fault” evictions but that has not yet happened.

Of course, landlords will be hit by the crisis, too but unless the ban on evictions is extended and the system is overhauled, a great many tenants will be at risk of eviction and homelessness.