Rented Homes: End of Evictions Ban

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:32 pm on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North 1:32 pm, 22nd July 2020

I dread the autumn. Even before covid, my borough of Brent had the second highest level of evictions in London; a third of households live in poverty and more than 30% of employees earn below the living wage, and many face redundancy. This will mean that after paying their rent, the average family with three children in my constituency will be left with just £38.46 a week to feed and clothe all five people, and pay all their utility bills. The Minister may say that local authorities have been given £50 million to help families in hardship, but that works out at less than £1 million per constituency, and this is not about one-off hardship; it is about structural inequality and poverty. So will he increase housing benefit to cover the real cost of average rents and will he introduce fair rent controls so that the taxpayer is not paying out to chase ever-escalating rents and ever-rising property prices, which are distorting our economy?