Campaigners have urged the Government to address rent debt and support tenants who risk losing their homes after falling behind on payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An alliance of charities, advice services and lenders called on ministers to produce a targeted financial package amid growing concerns people are struggling to afford their rent.
According to Citizens Advice, half a million tenants are behind on payments as the Covid crisis causes economic hardship across the country. As the pandemic continues to devastate the economy, the Office for National Statistics estimates 1.7 million people are currently unemployed, with 2.6 million expected to be out of work in total during 2021.
A joint statement by 11 organisations, including The Big Issue, Crisis, Citizens Advice, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Shelter, said as well as financial support, the Government needed to commit to a welfare system that “provides renters with the security of knowing that they can afford their own homes”.
We (@Bigissue's Ride Out Recession Alliance) want to support the UK Government to #EndRentDebtCrisis both to sustain tenancies wherever possible and to avoid an increase in homelessness. That's why we've published the below joint statement. #Budgetpic.twitter.com/3NCG2aNl6z
— John Bird (@johnbirdswords) February 18, 2021
The joint statement read: “Renters and landlords whose finances have been affected since lockdown cannot keep tenancies going without additional financial support.