Rise in the number of Wigan people without a place to call home
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Homelessness charity Shelter said the time for “empty words” on housebuilding was long passed and called on the Government to act.
Across England, the homelessness figures hit an all-time high, with 79,840 households having faced homelessness in the first quarter of the year.
Of those, 6,440 were because of a Section 21 "no-fault" eviction, which allows landlords to evict a tenant with just two months’ notice, without having to give a reason.
In May, the Government published its Renters (Reform) Bill to ban no-fault evictions and introduce greater protections for renters. However, the bill has failed to make any progress through Parliament since.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 401 households in Wigan were estimated to be homeless and were owed a relief duty, which requires housing authorities to help them secure accommodation. This was up from 368 the year before.
There were also 290 households threatened with homelessness and owed a prevention duty, 130 of whom faced losing their home after receiving a Section 21 notice to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
Housing charity Shelter has estimated 172 families are served with an eviction notice every day while the bill is delayed.
There were 112 single parents and 57 couples with dependent children homeless in Wigan between January and March.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “With record numbers of people becoming homeless, the time for empty words on building social homes and overdue promises on ending no fault evictions has long passed.
“No-fault evictions are fuelling homelessness and throwing thousands of families’ lives into turmoil.”
In Wigan, 2.7 per 100,000 people were estimated to be homeless. The national average currently stands at 1.8 people.
Tom Darling, campaign manager of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, said: “Renting in England is in crisis. Rents are rising at their fastest rate since records began, a fifth of privately rented homes don’t meet a ‘decent’ standard, and no-fault evictions continue to be a leading cause of homelessness.
“Four years after promising change, and two months after first giving people hope by introducing legislation, the Government’s continued delays to the Renters (Reform) Bill are inexplicable.”