Evictions: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues to prevent evictions in the long term for those who have lost income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government has introduced an unprecedented financial support package to help renters continue to pay their living costs, including rent, by supporting businesses to pay staff salaries, strengthening the welfare safety-net with a £7 billion boost to Universal Credit, and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area.

Emergency measures are also in place to ensure that tenants do not have to be concerned about being evicted at this time. All possession procedures in the courts are currently suspended until after 23rd August 2020 and the Coronavirus Act 2020 requires landlords to provide three months notice of their intention to seek possession.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is working closely with the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that when the moratorium on evictions ends, the courts are better able to address the need for appropriate protection of all parties, including those shielding from coronavirus. This judicial-led work is to ensure that judges will have all the information necessary to make just decisions in the current framework and that the most vulnerable tenants will get the help they need.

The Department regularly engages with other Government departments, including the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Treasury, regarding private renters.

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