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Big Issue founder: Ministers must help landlords to prevent evictions

lord bird big issue

Big Issue founder John Bird has called on the government to help landlords prevent rent rises.

The magazine'�s editor-in-chief - a crossbench peer in the House of Lords - says it needs to stop households who cannot pay their rent from being evicted, warning of a surge in homelessness.

As well as providing more financial support to people struggling to pay for food and energy, the government should be assisting landlords financially to avoid rent rises and cut evictions, Bird told the Observer.

'I'�m not saying I am not concerned about people who can'�t feed themselves or heat themselves, but the worst possible thing to add to that is if hundreds of thousands of people are made homeless '�then it completely goes off the Richter scale,'� he said.

The number of homeless households is expected to rise to 300,000 a night this year, Crisis predicts, a 32% rise on 2020.

Cash boost

Last month, councils across England were gifted a cash boost to help fund more mediation with landlords in a bid to avoid evictions as part of a �654 million package that will also let councils target support at vulnerable families and people at risk of rough sleeping.

Bird admitted that the Big Issue narrowly avoided going bust during the pandemic as sales were hit by the cost-of-living crisis, which prompted it to start offering subscriptions to help vendors who couldn'�t sell it on the streets. The magazine'�s sales are still being affected by the crisis.

Bird added that the convergence of Brexit, Covid and war in Ukraine, as well as last year'�s Conservative leadership crisis, reminded him of the series of storms that engulfed Britain in the 1970s.

'But the difference now is they'�re coming together all at once,'� he added. 'And there is not anybody who'�s out there to rescue us.'�

Pic credit: Big Issue.


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