As the Government’s ban on evictions comes ends a coalition of Liverpool city region housing associations has made a promise to people in rent arrears due to the COVID-19 crisis. Tony McDonough reports
A coalition of 18 Liverpool city region housing associations has vowed that no tenants will be evicted from their homes as a result of hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
At the height of the pandemic in March the Government implemented a temporary ban on landlords being able to evict tenants. This was due to expire on August 23 but has now been further extended for another four weeks. However, there are fears of a wave of evictions is coming down the line.
In response, 18 housing associations across Liverpool city region, including Magenta, Your Housing, Torus and Riverside, have joined national counterparts in reassuring tenants that anyone with rent arrears due to the coronavirus crisis will not be kicked out of their homes.
They are known as Liverpool City Region Housing Associations (LCRHA). Bronwen Rapley, chair of LCRHA, said: “Liverpool housing associations have deep roots in our communities and the welfare of customers is always our top priority.
“As the moratorium on evictions ends, we are reassuring customers that we will continue our supportive, person-centred approach to helping people stay in their homes. Housing associations are on the front line of efforts to end homelessness in Liverpool.
“Working with partners in local government, and in our communities, we have successfully provided sustainable homes to more than 300 people who previously had no home of their own when coronavirus struck.
“We are committed to taking further action to ensure that no one ends up on the streets as a result of financial hardship caused by coronavirus.”
Housing associations are not-for-profit landlords to more than six million people in England. They are working closely with residents, local government, the NHS and others to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has welcomed the LCRHA pledge, adding: “This is all part of our city’s commitment to making sure that no-one ends up on the streets as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic.
“We are re-doubling our efforts to tackle homelessness by working more closely with local social housing providers and housing charities to stop people slipping through the net and ending up on the streets. This pledge is one of the measures we are putting in place to support people in what are extraordinary and extremely uncertain times.”
The housing associations say they will work with any resident who is struggling to find arrangements to pay rent that is manageable for them in the long term.
Legal action will only be taken in serious circumstances – for example as a last resort where a resident will not agree a plan with their landlord to help them pay their rent, or where it is needed urgently in cases of domestic abuse or of anti-social behaviour.
Members of LCRHA include:
- Alpha Housing
- Anchor Hanover Group
- Cobalt Housing
- Halton Housing
- Livy Housing Group
- Magenta Living
- Onward Homes
- Plus Dane Group
- Prima Group
- Regenda Group
- Riverside Group
- Steve Biko Housing Association
- South Liverpool Homes
- Sovini Group
- Your Housing Group