The leader of the Generation Rent campaign group has joined forces with tenant activists to demand the Chancellor gives financial support to renters in Wednersday's Budget.
Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, says: “Households in arrears face an impossible choice every month: pay the rent, borrow, or go without essentials. The government’s inadequate support for private renters is pushing families deeper and deeper into debt, with homelessness and destitution awaiting once the crisis of the pandemic clears.
“[Chancellor] Rishi Sunak must act decisively to end the rent debt crisis, and bring peace of mind to private renters who have been hit the hardest by the economic shock.”
And in the same statement, Amina Gichinga from London Renters Union adds: “Government-backed loans would help underwrite landlord profits but would leave renters pressured to take on massive debt repayments they can’t afford. If you can’t afford your rent, how can you afford loan repayments?
“There’s nothing in the proposals for grants or loans to pay off rent debt to stop landlords taking the cash and evicting their tenants anyway. Before we start talking money, the law should be changed so people in arrears due to pandemic can't be evicted.”
The campaigns claim the support of 20 Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs for their demands.
They say that despite the current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions “renters in debt are vulnerable to eviction and homelessness if they do not find alternative accommodation.”
And they add that “more than a dozen London Renters Union members are at risk of bailiff eviction in the coming few weeks” although no details are given as to how they may be the case.