Government has 48 hours to protect renters, says Labour

Labour is calling on the government to extend the evictions ban due to end on 20 September to avoid a homelessness crisis this winter.

The ban was extended in August, after which Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire wrote to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick urging him to use the short Parliamentary time available to bring legislation to protect renters, and keep his promise that ‘no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home’.

She also accused the government of ‘prioritising reopening old wounds on Brexit above protecting renters’, after the government failed to bring forward legislation to stop automatic evictions, as Labour called for, and instead introducing the controversial Internal Markets Bill.

Debbonaire said: “Coronavirus cases are rising, vast swathes of the country are set to be under local lockdown, and the Covid jobs crisis is set to get worse. This is no time for the government to re-start evictions.

“The government is walking right into a homelessness crisis this winter. They’ve wasted the short time they bought themselves by extending the ban in August, prioritising reopening old wounds on Brexit above protecting renters. The ban must be extended before Sunday, and the government needs to come forward with a credible plan to keep their promise that no renter will lose their home because of coronavirus.”