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‘We’re bracing ourselves for an avalanche’: Barking and Dagenham leader warns government over planned lifting of evictions ban

PUBLISHED: 17:47 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:47 21 August 2020

Darren Rodwell has warned of an 'avalanche' of evictions. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

Darren Rodwell has warned of an 'avalanche' of evictions. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

The government has been warned a planned end to a ban on evictions could lead to an “avalanche” of people being forced out of their homes.

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell. Picture: Andrew Brookes.Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell. Picture: Andrew Brookes.

Barking and Dagenham Council leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, issued the warning ahead of the expected lifting of the ban on Sunday, August 23.

Cllr Rodwell, speaking in his role as executive member for housing and planning for umbrella group London Councils, said: “The combination of massive job losses and the eviction ban coming to an end means we’re bracing ourselves for an avalanche of evictions in the coming weeks and months.

“This is set to be a horrendous time for many thousands of Londoners and boroughs will do everything we can to help our residents avoid homelessness.”

However, the government has hinted the ban may be extended.

A spokesperson at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We are working on how best to continue supporting renters and landlords during the pandemic and will make an announcement on the next steps shortly.

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“The government has taken unprecedented action to support renters, preventing people getting into financial hardship and helping businesses to pay salaries – meaning no tenants have been evicted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.”

London Councils, which represents all 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation, has stressed that the economic fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic means thousands of Londoners are struggling to pay their rent and mortgages.

The organisation says the capital already faces the most severe homelessness crisis in the country with town halls having played a “pivotal role” in providing emergency accommodation for more than 5,000 rough sleepers since the coronavirus outbreak.

A total of 58,000 homeless households in the capital have also been placed in temporary accommodation, which accounts for two-thirds of England’s total, accroding to London Councils.

Before the pandemic, London Councils declared the boroughs’ annual £1billion spend on homelessness and rough sleeping could not be kept up.

It predicts boroughs will spend an extra £96million on homelessness and rough sleeping this year due to the impact of Covid-19.

Are you at risk of losing your home if the government’s ban on evictions is lifted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Please email reporter Jon King at jonathan.king@archant.co.uk


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