COVID-19 housing help ‘doesn’t go far enough,’ says UNISON

The union welcomes help announced so far by the government, but calls for further action during the pandemic

Government’s measures to postpone evictions for three months and support vulnerable homeless people during the COVID-19 crisis are a step in the right direction, says UNISON, but they do not go far enough.

The union says that the measures will not stop evictions, while there will not be enough homes to support homeless people unless the government steps in with further action and support.

UNISON is backing the Homes for All campaign group’s call for stronger measures to ensure no one is left on the street homeless, and that no-one loses their home due to the pandemic.

Their proposals include:

  • immediately open up hotels and other empty buildings to house all those who are homeless;
  • ensure that no evictions or repossession actions take place during the crisis;
  • suspend rent and mortgage liability for anyone whose income is cut due to the virus;
  • scrap the five-week wait for universal credit/housing benefit and suspend all benefit sanctions;
  • provide funding to build 100,000 council homes a year at social rent with secure tenancies to tackle overcrowding, unsuitable housing and unaffordable homes.

UNISON is affiliated to the Homes for All campaign group, which is an alliance of housing campaigners, trade unions, tenants, residents and community groups.

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