Bring back eviction ban or face ‘catastrophic’ homelessness, ministers warned

A “catastrophic” homelessness crisis triggered by the rising cost of living is imminent, the former head of civil service has warned, with thousands at risk of losing their home.

To prevent the looming threat, the government must reinstate the eviction ban and take a “two-pronged” approach to get people off the streets and ensure vulnerable tenants are not kicked out.

A lack of action would otherwise lead to a “catastrophic” homelessness crisis, Lord Bob Kerslake has said.

He added: “We once again need to see the strong, decisive leadership from the government that we did during ‘Everyone In’, backed by resources and funding.

“But this time the focus must be two-pronged. It is no longer just about getting people off the streets, it is about ensuring people who are currently at risk of homelessness don’t end up on them.”

The new report from the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping calls for strong leadership and funding, and follow Scotland’s footstops who reintroduced the eviction ban earlier this month.

St Mungo’s, which provides the secretariat for the commission, said every day it sees the “very real and very harsh reality of this financial crisis”.

Interim chief executive Rebecca Sycamore continued: “And with more price increases, and the colder weather coming, it is very likely many of those currently just scraping by will no longer be able to manage, and could be at real risk of losing their homes.”

The Kerslake Commission also highlighted risks associated with the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, with some hosts indicating they will not be able to continue beyond the initial six months they committed to.

Echoing previous calls, it said the government should consider increasing the monthly thank-you payments to hosts who continue beyond six months.

A spokeswoman for the government said: “We are giving councils £316 million this year to ensure families are not left without a roof over their heads.

“This is alongside the action we are taking to support families with the cost of living this winter through our £37 billion pound support package.

“This includes £1,200 this year for the most vulnerable, helping them to pay their bills and stay in their homes.”

Additional reporting by PA

The Kerslake Commission’s report has warned the country ‘stands on the precipice’ of a homelessness emergency

Government must act now to prevent ‘catastrophic’ homelessness crisis

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