Landlords and agents have joined forces with debt and homeless charities to urge the Chancellor to prevent a wave of homelessness.
The National Residential Landlords Association and Propertymark have issued a joint statement along with The Big Issue Ride Out Recession Alliance, Crisis, Citizens Advice, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Money Advice Trust, The Mortgage Works, Nationwide Building Society, StepChange Debt Charity and Shelter – as organisations with the aim of sustaining tenancies wherever possible.
They’re calling on Rishi Sunak to announce a targeted financial package in the upcoming budget to help private renters clear their debts and to ensure the welfare system provides renters with the security of knowing they can afford their homes.
This support would help to sustain existing tenancies and keep renters in their homes while ensuring rental debt doesn’t risk them finding homes in the future, says the group, while it also believes that a decent welfare system should provide security at a time of crisis.
“The government increased Universal Credit and Housing Benefit because it recognised that the system was not doing enough to support people in the first place, yet it has chosen to freeze Housing Benefit rates again from April and is considering cutting Universal Credit at the same time,” the joint statement says.
“It cannot be right that these measures could be pulled away from renters during continued economic uncertainty.”
It says measures taken to date don’t go far enough to adequately protect renters going forward and adds: “We urge the Chancellor to act now to avoid renters being scarred by debts they have no hope of clearing and a wave of people having to leave their homes in the weeks and months to come.”