Stephen Williams, Lib Dem candidate for West of England Mayor has urged the Government to extend the Covid eviction ban as official figures reveal that 212 families in private rented accommodation in B&NES, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are deemed at risk of homelessness.
The Liberal Democrats warned that Ministers must act now to “stop a devastating surge in homelessness sweeping across the region as we face a potential second wave of Coronavirus.”
According to official statistics, 444 households in the West of England are assessed as being threatened with homelessness in addition to 560 assessed as homeless from January to March 2020.
213 of households who were homeless or threatened with homelessness cited the end of a private rented tenancy as the reason for losing their last settled home.
The figures also revealed that 62 households in the region were rough sleeping in January to March 2020.
Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Mayor of the West of England said:
“Families in B&NES, Bristol and South Gloucestershire must be protected from homelessness. As a former Minister for Communities I introduced legislation to outlaw revenge evictions and improve conditions in the private rented sector. Rather, it seems the Conservatives are happy to leave people to fend for themselves at a time when jobs are at risk and people are struggling.
“People deserve better. These figures are yet further proof the Government must rethink its heartless decision to resume evictions from 23 August.”
Stephen Williams:, supporting Shelter’s 2014 campaign to legislate against revenge evictions while he was a minister, details can be found here.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
“Thousands of families in the private rented sector were already being threatened with homelessness earlier this year, now they face losing their homes in the middle of a pandemic.
“Ministers must act now to stop a devastating surge in homelessness sweeping across the country as we face a potential second wave.
“The sharp rise in rough sleeping also shows why criminalising rough sleeping through the Vagrancy Act must end. Instead, Ministers should protect emergency funding for local councils to permanently accommodate rough sleepers."