Eviction ban: Tulip Siddiq calls for ‘radical overhaul’ of ‘broken’ housing system after government extend protection for renters

Hampstead and Kilburn’s MP Tulip Siddiq welcomed the government’s decision to extend the ban on evictions for renters last week.

After the secretary of state for communities and local government announced no-one would lose their rented home until August at the earliest, Ms Siddiq welcomed the move but said the private rental sector needed a “radical overhaul”.

The MP had been among many – including her colleagues Catherine West, Dawn Butler, Emily Thornberry and Karen Buck – to back the this newspaper’s campaign for an extension.

She said: “Over 30 per cent of Hampstead and Kilburn residents rent privately, and I’ve heard from so many of them who are struggling and falling into arrears in this crisis.

“I am glad that the government has heeded calls from the Ham&High and the Labour Party to extend the temporary eviction ban.

“This an important step to prevent Covid-19 becoming a homelessness crisis, but much more needs to be done to ensure the social security system works for renters.”

She pointed to “long-standing” problems with Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance and said our housing system was “broken” and “does not work for the vast majority of people in this country”.

Ms Siddiq’s words were echoed by Robert Taylor, organiser at the Camden Federation of Private Tenants, who – wriiting in this newspaper – said: “This is simply not enough, as we believe that the ban should continue until the government has introduced legislation to permanently abolish Section 21 and “no fault” evictions. Ground 8 – which is used when a renter is 8 weeks in arrears – and is currently mandatory, also needs to be suspended.”

On June 5, the cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said: “Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.

“We are also working with the judiciary on proposals to ensure that when evictions proceedings do recommence, arrangements, including rules, are in place to assist the court in giving appropriate protections for those who have been particularly affected by coronavirus – including those tenants who have been shielding.”

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