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Here's how you can get involved in the fight to stop Covid-19 evictions

On August 23 England's eviction ban will be lifted, putting thousands at risk of homelessness. Campaigners across the country are taking action

The worst-affected areas were London, the south west and the east of England, where the poorest households shelled out over 50% of their monthly income on even the cheapest available rents.

The most expensive areas were London, the south west and the east, where the poorest households shelled out over 50% of their monthly income on even the cheapest rents.

In just a matter of days, the eviction ban put in place to prevent renters in England losing their homes during the pandemic will be lifted.

Without a last-minute government u-turn, August 23 will mark the end of a Covid-19 safety net that has stood between those whose finances have been impacted by the crisis and homelessness.

The Ride Out Recession Alliance (RORA) is still fighting to prevent a wave of evictions. Together with our RORA partners, we’re looking at the most innovative ideas that will get vulnerable tenants through the crisis without losing their homes. And we want your input. If you have a winning idea or interesting thought about preventing homelessness and keeping people in work, get in touch now.

Meanwhile other campaigners are organising action to take a stand against letting renters fall off a financial cliff-edge this weekend.

ACORN, a national union of tenants, workers and residents from low-income communities, are inviting you to join a day of digital protest for their Day of Action this Saturday August 22.

From the safety of home, they suggest you can:

  • Take a selfie with a homemade placard or ACORN’s Notice of Eviction Resistance, or even hang a banner from your window – they’ll make printable posters available from home
  • Wear red in solidarity and get busy using hashtags #HousingIsHealth and #NoEvictions
  • Tweet Boris Johnson and housing secretary Robert Jenrick demanding Government action to prevent a homelessness disaster

You can join nearly 45,000 others by signing their petition, calling for protections for tenants here. Alternatively, contact your local branch to find out what action they’re taking in your area this Saturday as the country approaches a crisis point for renters.

And they’ll support you to stand up for your community as the evictions freeze comes to an end. Training for Community Protection Teams will be held across England and Wales to fight back against homelessness “caused by Government inaction and landlord greed”.

Other housing campaigners including the Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) – a RORA member organisation – and the London Renters’ Union are taking direction action across this crucial weekend too. All events will observe social distancing.

On Sunday August 23, SHAC will lead a demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice Thomas More Building, the Strand, from 12.30pm.

And on Monday August 24, London Renters’ Union will lead a day of decentralised protests focused on local courts as opposed to a mass event. Details are set to come soon, and those who can’t make it along are encouraged to support online.

The events are also backed by RORA member Homes for All as well as the Radical Housing Network. Earlier this month we signed Homes for All’s open letter to PM Boris Johnson calling for him to stop the threatened avalanche of evictions and homelessness.

Elsewhere at-risk tenant Nichola McClean, with the backing of RORA member Generation Rent, is petitioning for change and needs your signatures.

“I have lived in my home in south London with my daughters for ten years,” she writes. “In May, my landlord gave me a Section 21 no-fault eviction notice, giving us three months to move out.

“We are devastated. I was furloughed for a while and receive housing benefit, but have managed to keep on top of rent. Sadly this hasn’t been good enough for my landlord who hasn’t given me a reason – they just want me out.”

Moving isn’t an option, she says – benefits would only cover the cost of a one-bedroom flat which would be unsuitable for her and her two daughters. She must also stay close to her mother, who is recovering from illness, as well as the father of her daughters.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have already extended protections for renters,” she added. “Only England is ploughing ahead with evictions.

“In March, the Housing Secretary told us that no one who lost income would lose their home. He’s running out of time to keep that promise and keep us in our homes.”

Time is running out, but there is plenty to be done.

You can also get involved with the Ride Out Recession Alliance. Send us your ideas – whether it’s a policy, something you think should be funded, project ideas or something more – to rora@bigissue.com, tweet us or send a message on Facebook. Don’t delay.

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