Local homelessness figures demand eviction ban extension, Lib Dems warn

The Liberal Democrats in Harrogate district have urged the Government to extend the eviction ban as official figures reveal that 53 of Harrogate district's families in private rented accommodation were deemed at risk of homelessness.

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Liberal Democrat Layla Moran and Chair of the All-Party Group on warned that Ministers must act now to “stop a devastating surge in homelessness sweeping across the country as we face a potential second wave.”

According to official statistics, 89 households in are assessed as being threatened with homelessness, with another 78 assessed as homeless from January to March 2020.

33 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 three households in  were rough sleeping in January to March 2020.

Local Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, Councillor Trevor Chapman said:

Families in Harrogate & Knaresborough must be protected from homelessness. Instead, it seems like the Conservatives are happy to leave people to fend for themselves at a time when jobs are at risk and people are struggling.

People deserve better. These figures are yet further proof the Government must rethink its heartless decision to resume evictions from 23 August.

Liberal Democrat Layla Moran said:

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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