Number of renters facing homelessness due to eviction at beginning of 2020 rises by 24% - Crisis response

New Government statistics released today have revealed that 4,740 households were left facing homelessness after being served a section 21 (no fault) eviction notice at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic (January to March 2020). This is a 24% increase on the previous quarter (October to December 2019).

At the start of the pandemic (18 March), a temporary suspension on all evictions was put in place across the UK. This legislation has meant that many people facing eviction, rent arrears or the end of their tenancy have been protected from having to leave a property and face homelessness during this ongoing public health emergency. This ban comes to an end in England this Sunday (23 August) and evictions will resume as normal.

Commenting on these statistics, Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Since March, the temporary eviction ban has protected thousands of renters from losing their home, allowing them to isolate safely and protect their health during this pandemic. What we face now is a backlog of evictions from earlier in the year as the ban lifts and the courts begin to processing these previous claims, alongside a potential wave of new evictions as the economic impact of the pandemic starts to bite. Many renters will have lost their job in recent months, will be struggling to make ends meet and having to leave their rented home will force them further to the brink of homelessness.

“To protect renters up and down the country from being swept into homelessness, we need the Westminster government to introduce emergency legislation making sure that judges will have the power to ensure that no one is unfairly evicted. Alongside this, we must protect those facing crippling financial pressure and provide them with additional financial support if they are facing rent arrears. We must use this opportunity to protect those facing homelessness."


Notes to Editor

Data available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-january-to-march-2020