Coronavirus: A ban on evictions and help for rough sleepers

This briefing paper explains measures the Government put in place during the coronavirus outbreak to assist households to retain their homes and enable local authorities to tackle the specific challenges faced by rough sleepers. The paper covers subsequent measures taken in light of the courts starting to consider possession claims again from 23 August and to prevent rough sleepers from returning to the streets. The paper is being updated regularly to take account of new developments. …

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Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?

This briefing paper considers evidence of private landlords’ reluctance to let to prospective tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit/Universal Credit. The paper looks at the reasons behind this reluctance and action being taken to challenge landlords/agents who operate a “no DSS” policy. …

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A new era of social rented housing in England?

A key focus of housing policy in recent years has been on the overall supply of housing. There is broad consensus on the need to address the long-term under-supply of housing and various measures have been introduced to stimulate housebuilding. While supporting increases in supply, commentators highlight the need to deliver housing that is genuinely affordable to improve living standards and “loosen the grip of poverty.” This paper considers the case for social rented housing; barriers to its development; and prospects for a step-change in supply. It also provides a statistical picture of trends in social housing supply over time and geographically (including total stock, new supply, and sales and demolitions).…

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Applying as homeless from an assured shorthold tenancy (England)

This paper considers how English local authorities deal with private tenants who have been served with a section 21 notice and are about to become homeless. A common response has been to tell tenants in this position to remain in situ until a court order/bailiff’s warrant is obtained. The paper considers changes introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 with effect from 3 April 2018. …

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Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?

This paper considers the debate about who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. It covers progress in implementing the Government decision to fund remediation work for affected blocks with ACM cladding in the social and private sectors. In March 2020, a £1 billion Building Safety Fund was announced to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise blocks in the social and private sectors. …

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The growth in short-term lettings (England)

This Commons Library briefing paper examines the growth in short-term lettings through online peer-to-peer platforms. It outlines the positive impacts of the accommodation sharing economy, and growing concerns about the adverse effects of high levels of short-term lettings in some areas. The paper discusses calls from some sectors for greater regulation of short-term lettings in England, and provides a brief overview of the regulatory approaches in other countries. …

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