The Citizens Advice charity is calling for tenants with arrears directly created by the Coronavirus to be offered government grants to help them out of debt.
Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says this should be the principle goal of government in the four week breathing space created by the eviction ban U-turn announced on Friday.
“We’re really pleased the government has stepped in to keep its promise that no renter will lose their home because of the Coronavirus pandemic – for now at least” she says.
“During this extended pause on new eviction proceedings, we hope the government will work with Citizens Advice and others to put in place a series of protections which will help those who’ve built up rent arrears get back on their feet.
“We’d like to see funding for a dedicated set of protections, including measures such as grants for those in arrears due to Coronavirus.
“This would not only directly help those affected, but also contribute towards consumer confidence and the economic recovery.”
At the end of last month the charity claimed that its web page on ‘Dealing with rent arrears’ had seen its hit-rate increase four-fold year on year, and said the number of people seeking advice concerning possible homelessness had also risen.
Previous research by Citizens Advice claimed that over a third of private sector renters had seen their income fall by 20 per cent or more since March.