IWW BAME officer Andrea Gilbert

In the UK mass evictions are currently on the horizon for many people living in the private rented sector. As it stands 840,000 households are in rent arrears and 70,000 have been made homeless during the pandemic. The eviction ban was scheduled to end on the 11th January but the Housing minster extended it to the 21st February.

Black people in the UK are more likely to be homeless, a report from Shelter found. In London 32.1% of those seeking support from councils were Black. Black, Asian and other minorities make up 17.3% housing support applications while only accounting for 7.3 % of the population. In London Black people make up 13.3% of the population and are more likely to work in key worker roles and be furloughed from their jobs leaving them to potentially fall into arrears. In addition Black people go through more checks in private renting and are rejected for housing based on immigration checks under the “right to rent” legislation.

I support the housing unions across the UK such as Acorn, London Renters Union, and Greater Manchester Tenants Union who have called on the Government to extend the eviction ban, cancel the rent for vulnerable tenants and to scrap Section 21 to stop landlords evicting people for no reason. If you’re a fellow worker going through housing issues please check out Acorn and London renters sites where you can get advice and support.