Hackney’s 34,000 private renters risk being excluded from the pandemic recovery “before it has even begun”, the Council has told the Government following the latest short-term reprieve for tenants impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, yesterday announced an extension of the temporary eviction ban for six further weeks from 21 February 2021 until 31 March 2021 – although unlike some previous measures court hearings can still take place, with landlords required to give a six month notice period.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and Mayoral Adviser for Affordability and Private Renting, Cllr Sem Moema, have again called for the Government to deliver on its manifesto commitment to end Section 21 instead of further piecemeal support to address the longstanding lack of security private renters faced now exacerbated by the pandemic.
Research by Generation Rent has shown that Section 21 evictions are the leading cause of homelessness in England. With over 30,000 households in the borough now renting privately, nearly one in three Hackney residents are vulnerable to eviction with little notice and through no fault of their own.
Hackney Council have been calling for the ban to be implemented as part of a package of measures needed to help tackle the borough’s housing crisis and rebuild a better Hackney following the pandemic, including keeping housing benefit rates at 30% of local rents and looking to increase to 50%, ending the benefit cap, and financial support for councils to support the rehoming of rough sleepers currently in emergency accommodation.
As part of it’s #BetterRenting campaign, Hackney Council has put support in place for private renters struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including additional financial help, advice and support on housing options and evictions, and enforcement against landlords.
Throughout the coronavirus crisis Hackney Council has urged the government to provide a long-term plan to support private renters, and previously wrote to Robert Jenrick MP asking for the current ban to be extended until its promise to end unfair Section 21 evictions is delivered.