Calls to end ‘widespread’ evictions

St Michael's Gate, Parnwell. EMN-161025-173120009
St Michael's Gate, Parnwell. EMN-161025-173120009
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A new Homeless Reduction Strategy for Peterborough calls on the Government to end the “widespread use” of an eviction process which saw a city estate cleared of almost all of its residents.

Section 21 notices were handed out to 72 households at St Michael’s Gate in Parnwell in 2016, forcing the families to leave the homes they were renting.

The vacant properties were offered to Peterborough City Council to be used as temporary accommodation for homeless families, with the authority stating that it had no choice but to take up the offer as, if it did not, another council would use the homes for their homeless instead.

The city council has since backed the Peterborough Telegraph’s campaign calling on the Government to change the law to stop councils from moving their homeless around the country.

The new strategy was produced by a cross-party council working group. If it is adopted by councillors it would see the cabinet member for housing Cllr Peter Hiller write to the Government asking it end to the “widespread use” of Section 21 notices, and in its place introduce legislation which provides “greater tenancy security in the private rented sector.”

Cllr Hiller would also ask for a change in legislation so housing benefit is paid directly to landlords and not tenants to try and persuade landlords to offer their properties to the homeless.

The strategy also calls for an end to B&B type accommodation to be used as temporary accommodation for the homeless. The council has been forced to put families in Travelodges after suffering a huge rise in homelessness from April 2016 onwards.