The crisis we are facing is unprecedented and the effects are potentially devastating. I am sure everyone wants to help those who are in need.
It is clear already that people’s incomes will be significantly affected by the impact of COVID-19, and inevitable that many tenants will struggle to meet their rent payments.
This could be through the need to self-isolate, workplace closure, reduced working hours or the need to provide childcare.
We’re committed to preventing homelessness and supporting our residents who rent accommodation to keep their tenancies at this difficult time and beyond.
We urge all landlords in the city to work positively with their tenants to support them where needed.
We appreciate landlords are facing financial challenges too but ask them to be as flexible as they can to help their tenants facing payment difficulties resulting from the impact of the outbreak.
Landlords can play a huge part in protecting their tenants from fear and anxiety by pledging to offer rent holidays or reductions and by reassuring they will not be subject to eviction.
Our housing early intervention team can offer support to both landlords and private sector tenants to help resolve problems, so please do get in touch if you’re facing any difficulties.
I have written to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging him to do all he can to support and protect private renters in Brighton & Hove and across the UK affected by the outbreak.
We welcome the recent government announcements to freeze new evictions for 12 weeks and susbidise wages for workers affected by the crisis.
But we’re urging the government go further in ensuring landlords work positively with tenants facing payment difficulties and provide the support needed throughout this difficult period.
We applaud the Acorn campaign to protect private sector tenants, endorsed by our MPs Lloyd Russell Moyle and Caroline Lucas.
We hope that landlords will join us in striving to keep our residents safe and secure in these troubling times.
Councillor Gill Williams
Chair of Housing