Extra support to help protect rough sleepers and renters from the effects of COVID-19 has been announced by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick today, 8th January.
Just yesterday we wrote of the lack of support being offered to renters and homeless people during the latest lockdown.
Backed by an additional £10 million in funding, all councils in England are being asked to redouble their efforts to help accommodate those currently sleeping rough and ensure they are swiftly registered with a GP, where they are not already. This will ensure they can be protected from the virus and contacted to receive vaccinations in line with the priority groups outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Councils will also be asked to reach out to those who have previously refused help, given rising infection rates and the colder winter months.
Renters will continue to be supported during the new national restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases for at least six weeks – until at least 21 February, with measures kept under constant review.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“At the start of this pandemic we made sure that the most vulnerable in society were protected. This winter, we are continuing in this vein and redoubling our efforts to help those most in need.
“Our ongoing Everyone In initiative is widely regarded as one of the most successful of its kind in the world, ensuring 33,000 people are safe in accommodation. We are now going further and focusing on GP registration of rough sleepers.
“We are also extending the ban on bailiff evictions – helping to protect the most vulnerable renters.”
Court rules and procedures introduced last September to support both tenants and landlords will remain in place and be regularly reviewed.
The courts will continue to prioritise cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse in the social sector.
Landlords continue to be required to give six-month notice periods to their tenants until at least 31 March, except in the most serious circumstances.
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