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Report: Renters at Risk, getting through the coronavirus crisis

By: Jenny Pennington and Stephanie Kleynhans
Published: September 2020

Report: Renters at Risk, getting through the coronavirus crisis

We face a three-fold crisis. A global pandemic that’s affected the lives of millions. A resultant economic crisis that has threatened the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands. And these crises are taking place in the midst of a long-standing housing crisis. A housing crisis that has made our homes unaffordable and made the lives of millions of private renters precarious.

Even in the best of times, many parents have had to choose between feeding their families and paying the rent. And over 300,000 people have reported that they’ve fallen behind on their rent during the pandemic, putting them at risk of eviction and homelessness. We need to act now.

We know that the solution is to build social homes, urgently. But we also need more support for those facing eviction now. We need to help renters get through the current crises.

The Government has taken bold and significant steps to date: setting up an unprecedented furlough scheme and restoring the Local Housing Allowance back up to cover 30% of rents. These steps must be commended – and they have certainly helped avoid the worst outcome.

But as the impact of the crises become visible, and the eviction ban ends, it’s clear that more support is needed to keep families across the country in their homes. With the sudden arrival of the pandemic many who might have thought themselves secure in their homes before, now find themselves in a precarious position.