News: Charity renews call for ‘targeted financial support’ for tenants

Tue, 12 Jan 21

Citizens Advice has called once again for public funds to help tenants in Covid-related arrears.

Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of the charity, makes the plea in a statement backing the government’s eviction ban extension.

He says: “The government has made the right decision to extend this protection. Renters who are struggling with arrears shouldn’t face the prospect of losing the roof over their head when everyone is being asked to stay at home. 

“However, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in arrears and this debt will continue to hang over them. The government should put in place targeted financial support for tenants in England who’ve fallen behind on their rent.”

The charity estimates that half a million renters are in arrears, with the average amount owed being £730, which would mean around £360m is owed across the country.

It wants a legal ban on bailiff action and pause on all possession proceedings during the national lockdown, and cash help for people in England who’ve built up rent arrears.

“The government should consider a system of grants and government-backed loans - comparable to schemes in Scotland and Wales - to help people pay back their rent arrears sustainably and stay in their homes” urges the charity.

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