20,000 signatures reached
To: Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing
Extend the coronavirus evictions ban
Extend the suspension of evictions for rent arrears caused by coronavirus - as well as in cases where the landlord has no grounds.
Why is this important?
My name is Nichola. I have lived in my home in south London with my daughters for ten years. 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.
The government had suspended all evictions but they are lifting this on 24 August, so we have no option but to find alternative accommodation.
But moving isn’t an option. Benefits would only get me a 1 bedroom flat, which is unacceptable with two girls, one of whom is about to start her GCSEs. And I can’t move away from my mother, who’s recovering from a stroke, or my daughters’ father.
The local council can’t help – they’ve just sent us to letting agents who are demanding an above average income and the details of someone who earns more than £50,000 to guarantee the rent. Single-earner households are excluded from the rental market.
And I’m a key worker, so I’m one of the lucky ones. There are thousands of others who have always done the right thing but the government has shut down their workplace, and hasn’t provided enough support to cover the rent. They too face homelessness when the courts open back up. I spoke to Generation Rent about my experience - they estimate that homelessness could treble as a result of coronavirus.
The Scottish and Welsh governments have already extended protections for renters. 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.