Worried renters in Brighton and Hove offered help as temporary eviction ban ends
A homelessness and housing charity in Brighton is urging renters to get advice as soon as possible if they are behind on their rent or mortgage payments or worried about losing their home.
BHT Sussex said its specialist housing advisors are preparing to see an unprecedented number of people seeking their support to avoid homelessness as the temporary ban on evictions is ending on May 31.
The charity, which runs advice centres in Brighton Hastings and Eastbourne, said the end of the pause of evictions that was put in place due to the pandemic could have serious consequences for the huge numbers of people who have built up rent arrears during the crisis.
Andy Winter, chief executive of BHT Sussex, said: “We are facing a real and imminent crisis both locally and nationally. We are conscious that many of the temporary measures introduced during the pandemic to protect people from homelessness are now ending, and this will leave many vulnerable.
“We want people to know that it is not too late to get support."
Research by Citizens Advice shows that half a million people are now behind on their rent due to the pandemic. They and many others, including the National Residential Landlords Association, are calling for a national programme of loans and grants to help people pay off arrears built up since lockdown began.
It is not just renters who are vulnerable; during the crisis struggling homeowners have been able to take a six-month ‘holiday’ from their monthly mortgage repayments but this scheme will also end in July. The government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative, which ensured accommodation was available to anyone sleeping rough, will likely end in June.
Mr Winter added: "Every week our advisers help families and individuals facing eviction to keep their homes. If you are worried about your living situation then please do not wait, get advice as soon as possible - you can call our Brighton Advice Centre on 01273 645455 or visit bht.org.uk to find out more."