Labour demands extra protection for tenants facing “ticking timebomb”

The Labour head of a special ‘taskforce’ looking at London housing issues in the light of the Coronavirus crisis says he wants the government to impose a ‘triple lock’ to protect private tenants.

Tom Copley – the Labour deputy mayor for housing and residential development on the London Assembly – says the government should immediately implement his triple lock protection for private renters by increasing welfare support, ending ‘no fault’ evictions and stopping evictions of any tenant who falls into arrears due to Covid-19.

Copley made the demand at the first meeting of the new Covid-19 Housing Delivery Taskforce that he chairs, which has a TUC representative on it, along with some borough councils and the London Assembly.

Copley says he wants the London housing sector to do more than just bounce back after the Coronavirus crisis, but to emerge with a renewed focus on delivery of the social and other genuinely affordable homes London needs.

The taskforce will meet every fortnight to focus on specific challenges and consider appropriate responses and interventions that can be brought forward from across the sector.

A statement from Copley says there are “millions of low paid renters in London now facing increased financial uncertainty” thanks to what he calls “a ticking timebomb of debt, arrears and widespread evictions over the coming months.”

“The 2008 financial crisis demonstrated that an economic shock can have a sustained impact on the housing market and the delivery of new homes. It is essential that planning starts now to ensure London recovers as quickly as possible and the sector continues to deliver the homes Londoners need at pace and at scale” he says.

“The public sector must play a key role. Having begun to rebuild their house building capacity, supported by the Mayor, London’s councils are in a much stronger position to support this recovery than they were 12 years ago” Copley continues.

“I want us to do more than just bounce back from this. I want London’s housing sector to emerge from this crisis with improved resilience, a greater sense of co-operation and a new found resolve to deliver the genuinely affordable homes that London so desperately needs.”

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