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The Government attempts to tackle homelessness due to the COVID-19

homeless man, homeless, advice

Despite adequate housing being a basic human right, it is still a rising problem within the UK and world wide. In 2018, it was estimated that 4,677 were sleeping rough in England alone, with around 2% of the world’s population being homeless. Staying at home in order to control the spread of the virus means that secure housing in this time of need is crucial. The recent COVID-19 outbreak left many families in fear of eviction and Landlords concerned about rent payments.

In light of this, the Government introduced a temporary end to evictions. Landlords who do issue eviction notices will also now need to provide a 3 month extension in order to prepare tenants and allow them to find new housing. Whilst this helps renters, by a further extension it does not prevent a ‘no fault’ eviction from Landlords. The new legislation does not protect people from eviction and still doesn’t provide them with the support which is given to homeowners by the Government (the mortgage holiday). 

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Homelessness in the UK is increasing

A rise in further help to tackle homelessness during this crisis is crucial in order to keep control of the virus. 

In order to maintain control of the spread of the virus, further help is required to tackle homelessness. Without secure housing people may be left to stay with friends and family or even ‘sofa surf’. The emphasis the Government has placed on social distancing has left people with no choice but to stay home and not attend work, leaving many people under pressure to pay their bills on time and provide for their families. Some people who previously depended on food banks will be faced with the choice of feeding their family or paying their bills.In my opinion support for non homeowners needs to be increased to match the support already provided for homeowners. 

More information may be found on the following website: https://blog.shelter.org.uk/2020/03/evictions-to-continue-despite-covid-19-public-health-emergency/ 

By Katie Richards

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