Shelter claims thousands of renters face eviction as lockdown ends

Shelter has delivered a 14,000-signature petition claiming that thousands of private renters who have lost their jobs could be facing eviction as the lockdown ends.

It claims that many of the nearly two million people who are applying for universal credit to help them through the crisis are finding that it does not come close to covering their rent.

The charity adds that because of the lockdown many tenants have not been able to move to cheaper accommodation, or indeed get a new job.

The charity is calling on the government to temporarily increase the housing element of the benefit – the Local Housing Allowance – to match 50 per cent of the average rent in an area.

These payments are currently based on the bottom 30 per cent of rents in an area.

Shelter says renters relying on Universal Credit must find an estimated £13m a week in total to keep up with their rent payments, which could add up to a £660m black hole in their finances over the next 12 months if the government fails to act.

“With just a bit of help, they can ride out this crisis, they get can get a new job, and move somewhere cheaper. Without that help, we are just going to see a tsunami of evictions once the lockdown ends” according to the charity’s chief executive, Polly Neate.

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