MPs warn of a 'new wave of homelessness' | Strategic Network news

MPs warn of a 'new wave of homelessness'

MPs from a range of parties have called on the Government to rethink the ending of the evictions ban, saying it could lead to a "new wave of homelessness".

The ban was originally introduced in March for three months but then further extended in June.

The letter, signed by 21 MPs from Labour, Liberal Democrats and DUP, are urging government to provide funds to councils so that rough sleepers can be housed for a year.

The current ban on evictions is due to end on 23 August.

The Welsh government has doubled the notice period required for evictions issued on or after 24 July to six months, excluding cases relating to anti-social behaviour.

The Scottish government has proposed extending its ban on evicting renters until March 2021.

With the 23 August deadline now approaching , MPs have urged the government to do more to protect the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in England "given the ongoing threat of coronavirus and the risk of a potential second wave".

"Some local authorities are in the process of confirming and funding accommodation for rough sleepers for another year, however it is so important that all councils are able to provide this.

"We cannot put a cut-off on showing all those in need compassion at this time," the letter said.

The letter adds: "We can't allow barriers to be erected.

"The evictions deadline on 23 August threatens a new wave of homelessness, and we need to treat all rough sleepers with as much compassion as possible at any time, especially in the present circumstances."

The MPs also urged the minister to scrap the Vagrancy Act - which still stands in England and Wales, having been repealed in Scotland. The Act allows police to arrest and fine people caught begging in public.