Urgent help needed for private renters
Trade union, Unite, has called on the government to ensure renters get the protection they need.
The situation is particularly acute in Hastings and St Leonard’s with 40% of its residents in private rented accommodation. Since the outbreak of the pandemic many have fallen into rental arrears as the recession deepens and unemployment continues. As winter cold sets in Unite is campaigning to get more help for tenants who find themselves and their families becoming increasingly exposed and vulnerable.
Unite south-east has coordinated a letter to housing minister, Robert Jenrick, warning that, unless the government acts, the worst is yet to come in terms of evictions, with very large numbers of tenants falling into arrears. It urges the government to immediately extend the ban on residential evictions until 30th April 2021, to increase Local Housing Allowance for a period of 12 months and to scrap the punitive
five week wait for first time Universal Credit claimants. The letter was signed by local councillors together with MPs, and housing charity workers.
Unite says a home is a human right: everyone should have a decent, warm place they can afford with security for the future. Yet in C21 Britain this is becoming an ever more precious commodity. Gill Knight, Unite the Community Hastings officer, said, “People are facing huge levels of uncertainty and many will be worried about how they will be able to keep a roof over their heads. The government must get a grip of the situation and act fast to keep people in their homes. People are facing real hardship. It is vital the government acts swiftly.”
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