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Covid debt putting 150,000 renters at risk of eviction, charity warns

Some 150,000 private renters are at risk of eviction when restrictions are lifted due to mounting covid-related debts, according to StepChange.

StepChange’s new polling found that half of private renters (3.7 million people) have experienced a drop in income since March 2020, while the number who have fallen behind on their rent since the start of the pandemic stands at 460,000.

 

The report found that 150,000 expect to be evicted in the next 12 months because they can’t afford their rent.

 

In total, StepChange’s research reveals £25bn of arrears and borrowing directly attributable to Covid has been built up since the start of the pandemic. The number of people in severe problem debt is 1.8 million, up from 1.4 million in September.

 

StepChange chief executive, Phil Andrew, said: ““The pandemic has taken an enormous financial toll on many households, but renters have been particularly badly hit: they are more likely to work in sectors affected by Covid, more likely to have lost income and more likely to have suffered mental ill-health.

 

“The Government’s own research shows that private renters have been hardest hit by the pandemic yet there was no reference to renters in the recent budget while mortgage support was extended for home-owners – a real missed opportunity to do whatever it takes to help a group so disproportionately disadvantaged.”

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