20 August 2020 – the day’s press release

Homelessness figures demand urgent need to extend eviction ban

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to extend the eviction ban, after official figures revealed thousands of families in private rented accommodation were deemed at risk of homelessness.

According to official statistics, 38,450 households were assessed as being threatened with homelessness, with another 36,690 were assessed as homeless from January to March 2020.

Around a fifth of households who were homeless or threatened with homelessness cited the end of a private rented tenancy as the reason for losing their last settled home.

The figures also revealed that 2,320 households were rough sleeping in January to March 2020, up 26% compared to the previous year.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

These figures are yet further proof the Government must rethink its heartless decision to resume evictions from next week.

Thousands of families in the private rented sector were already being threatened with homelessness earlier this year, now they face losing their homes in the middle of a pandemic.

Ministers must act now to stop a devastating surge in homelessness sweeping across the country as we face a potential second wave.

The sharp rise in rough sleeping also shows why criminalising rough sleeping through the Vagrancy Act must end. Instead, Ministers should protect emergency funding for local councils to permanently accommodate rough sleepers.

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