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Housing associations in England have come together to say that "no one will be evicted from a housing association home as a result of financial hardship".
The pledge, released by the National Housing Federation, comes as the evictions ban is set to be lifted on 31 May.
Housing associations in England say that as long as the resident is engaging and working with their association to get payments back on track, there will be no evictions.
The three pledges are:
During the pandemic and beyond, housing associations are committed to:
1. Keeping people secure at home
No one will be evicted from a housing association home as a result of financial hardship, where they are working (or engaging) with their housing association to get their payments back on track.
2. Helping people to get the support they need
Housing associations are helping residents to access benefits and other support to alleviate financial hardship, including supporting people to get into work where possible.
3. Acting compassionately and quickly where people are struggling
Housing associations will work with any resident who is struggling to pay rent to make arrangements that are manageable for them in the long term. Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances – for example as a last resort where a resident will not agree a plan with their landlord to pay their rent, or where it is needed urgently in cases of domestic abuse or of antisocial behaviour that is putting other residents or communities at risk.
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, says: “Many people who have lost work and struggled to pay their rent during the pandemic are fearful of losing their homes when the ban on bailiffs comes to an end. The consequences of this crisis are far reaching and those worst affected could face financial hardship for years to come.
"That is why housing associations have come together to make a permanent commitment to residents, that no one will be evicted from their home as a result of financial hardship as long as residents are engaging with their housing association on a plan to manage their rent if they fall into arrears.
“The evictions process from social housing is very different to that in privately rented homes and evictions are only carried out as a very last resort and in serious cases. Housing associations are charitable landlords that exist to provide homes to people on low incomes and they want to work closely with residents who may be struggling financially.
"Residents who are worried about paying their rent or have fallen into arrears should be reassured that their landlord is there to support them."