Forcing tenants out of their homes as Covid-19 cases rise is risky. Instead, ministers should rebalance the scales
Along with an emergency operation to end rough sleeping, the ban on evictions introduced in March was a crucial plank of the UK government’s coronavirus response. With children off school, and millions of adults furloughed or working from home, boosting housing security was a humane and pragmatic measure, without which it would have been far harder to enforce a lockdown that meant many people in the informal economy lost out on earnings.
That the ban was lifted on the very day that Sir Patrick Vallance and Prof Chris Whitty addressed the nation about the risks that are once again rising makes no sense at all. Indeed, colder weather and higher bills make winter evictions a bleak prospect – and a “Christmas truce” preventing them over the holidays does little to dispel that.