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Struggling renters need a lifeline this winter

This new research sets out a clear plan to support renters struggling to stay afloat as we approach winter and continue to navigate the coronavirus crisis.

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Around 2.5 million households are worried about how they will pay their rent over the winter months, 700,000 households are already in rental arrears, and households are being put in impossible situations, having to make trade-offs on essentials like food and electricity for their families.

To ensure that no renter loses their home because of the pandemic, the Government must do the right thing:

  1. Fully reinstate the pause on courts hearing repossession and eviction cases until lockdowns, and the risk of further lockdowns, are lifted. This will help to prevent a wave of homelessness this winter and hold renters who have fallen into arrears steady.
  2. Direct immediate financial support for renters in arrears through boosting the funding for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs), and tweaking the way they are set up and administered.
  3. Put the rental market on a more sustainable footing by ensuring that renters can cover their housing costs and stay in their homes by making the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit permanent, extending the uplift to legacy benefits, build more housing for social rent, and continue to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in line with local rents.
Smiling woman drinking a cup of tea in a kitchen.

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