Protestors will head to Parliament Square this morning during Prime Minister’s Questions to ask Boris Johnson: “Will you stop the tidal wave of evictions?”
Campaigners Homes for All, who back The Big Issue’s Ride Out Recession Alliance, organised the socially distanced protests to demand that the government extends the evictions ban beyond September 20.
Last week Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that eviction proceedings will be heard in courts once again from September 21 with renters offered the protection of an extended six-month eviction notice period and a ‘Christmas truce’ that will mean no one can be evicted over the holiday period. A similar truce will be brought in for any area that is under local lockdown.
#PMQs "What action will the PM take to stop a tidal wave of homelessness when the eviction ban ends on Monday?"#NOEVICTIONS@BorisJohnson @10DowningStreet @RobertJenrick @genrentuk @NevilleSouthall @radicalhousing @HAWRNet @BigIssue @Shelter @labour_council pic.twitter.com/Q0G8fylNp5
— #HomesForAll (@Homes4AllUK) September 16, 2020
Homes for All, a non-party alliance of tenants, trade unionists and local housing activists, argue that the action does not honour the pledge made at the start of the Covid-19 crisis when ministers vowed that “no-one will lose their home during a pandemic”.
With 230,000 households facing rent arrears through no fault of their own due to the pandemic according to research by Shelter, protestors are warning that thousands will be vulnerable to eviction once the ban ends.
“In London today, an 83 year-old woman is being threatened with eviction by her private landlord, from a home she’s lived in for 50 years. The current eviction ban is all she has to protect her,” said Glyn Robbins of Homes for All, a housing worker.
“That’s the brutal world the government want to return to. They said they would end Section 21 evictions, but that hasn’t happened. Our question for the Prime Minister is: where’s the promised action – or will tenants lose their homes due to the pandemic?”
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Alicia Kennedy, Generation Rent director, added: “When the eviction ban is lifted renters who’ve already had notice from their landlord will have no idea what protections they’ll have left. Tens of thousands of renters are already in the system and set to lose their home this winter. When you lose income it becomes really hard to find another home you can afford or a landlord who will take you.
“The benefits system doesn’t cover rents and landlord discrimination is common. The government needs to act now to deliver on their promise that no renter will lose their home due to coronavirus. We’re calling for emergency legislation to end coronavirus evictions and funding to end the rent debt crisis.”