COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana has called for the extension of the government’s eviction ban, as more UK renters struggle to keep up with rent payments.
The Labour MP joined three parliamentary colleagues to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging him to take urgent action to prevent evictions n the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter, jointly written with Apsana Begum (MP for Poplar and Limehouse), Bell Ribeiro-Addy (MP for Streatham) and Claudia Webbe (MP for Leicester East), outlines the precarious position of UK renters, calls for rent cancellation and debt forgiveness for those who cannot afford to pay, along with an extension to the current eviction ban (due to lapse at the end of June), and for the abolition of Section 21 evictions.
Last month, a survey by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) estimated that 1.2 million renters had fallen through cracks in the current income support schemes to rely on Universal Credit payments.
The MPs’ letter follows earlier calls from renters’ unions, including ACORN the union and London Renters’ Union, for more robust protections for renters to limit the likelihood of homelessness or financial hardship incurred through rent payment.
Zarah Sultana MP said: “The current crisis makes it clearer than ever that Britain’s housing system is broken but it has also shown that we can take action to prevent homelessness if we choose to.
“It’s within the Government’s power to make sure nobody faces homelessness or insurmountable rental debts as a consequence of the current crisis. The measures outlined in this letter would offer a real lifeline for many people in Coventry and across the country.”