deep poverty UK
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Prior to the lockdown, seven percent of the UK population were in deep poverty.
Tory peers today voted down a last-minute bid to stop an estimated 55,000 struggling private renters from being evicted.

Since Monday, tenants who were handed notices by landlords from March to August have been at risk of being turfed out of their homes.

Housing campaigners fear that it will mean a rise in homelessness and more pressure on cash strapped councils just as the UK braces for a second wave.

According to housing group Generation Rent, who produced the 55,000 estimate, 200 judges have been given training to deal with housing cases as the courts prepare to deal with the backlog.

In March, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick promised that no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home".

But a Lib Dem bit to stop the evictions was defeated in the Lords 126 to 266, with most Labour peers abstaining.

The motion put forward Baroness Olly Grender was defeated 126 votes to 266.

Following the vote, Baroness Grender said: "The subject of this vote today was 55,000 households teetering on the brink of eviction.

"The Conservatives promised that no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus would lose their home, but now all it takes is for a landlord to reinvoke an eviction notice and these families will be searching for a new home.

"The fact that during a second wave of an epidemic and in the run-up to winter some families may now be facing homelessness thanks to the Government's legislation is shameful.

"Although this motion was a rather unprecedented tactic, we find ourselves in unprecedented times.

"It was a missed opportunity to help all those families threatened with eviction, with no cash and no options, who are in desperate need of support.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for all those facing eviction. It is about time the Conservatives stopped ignoring the most vulnerable and stuck to their promises."

In an urgent question in the Commons, ex-Lib Dem leader Tim Farron called for an extension to the eviction moratorium "so that the underlying problems can be solved".

Responding Housing Minister Chris Pincher told MPs that the Government has "honoured its promise to landlords and to renters".

He also stressed that measures were in place in ensure that no evictions could take place in locations where local lockdowns are going on.


Comment: In legalese that probably means the day before or the day after evictions can quite easily go ahead.


He said: "The Government has taken unprecedented action to support renters by banning evictions for six months, preventing people getting into financial hardship and helping business to pay salaries.

"We've now introduced comprehensive measures to ensure renters continue to be protected over the autumn and winter, following the resumption of possession proceedings on Monday.

"However, we must strike a balance so that landlords are able to access justice alongside measures to protect the vulnerable.

"This is vital to the long-term health of the private-rented sector."