Connect with us

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said ministers had taken “unprecedented action” to help renters. (PA)


3 min read

Labour has urged the Government to extend a ban on evictions or risk “more chaos of its own making”.

Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire has written to her government counterpart Robert Jenrick, asking him to continue a pause on enforcement action that was put in place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labour frontbencher said the ban should be extended “until the Government has introduced changes to our broken housing system that will protect tenants”.

The Government announced a ban on evictions in March, with the curbs extended in June to prevent landlords from starting proceedings against tenants until August 23.

But ministers have said that from August 24, “the courts will begin to process possession cases again” in a move the Government has described as “an important step towards ending the lockdown” that will “protect landlords’ important right to regain their property”.

In her letter to Mr Jenrick, the Shadow Housing Secretary asks for the “steps you have taken to prevent a self-made homelessness crisis at the worst possible moment, as the furlough scheme winds up and we face the risk of growing infections of coronavirus”.

Ms Debbonaire adds: “Veering from crisis to crisis is no way to run a country. After the incompetent handling of the exams fiasco, the government must act now to avoid more chaos of its own making.

“The situation is urgent, but there is still time for you to re-think, and extend the ban. I urge you to do so.”

The Labour frontbencher asks the department what assessment it has made of the likely numbers of people facing homelessness if the ban is lifted; what consideration they have given to the impact of the move on public health; and why the Government has not yet moved to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions.

She asks: “What steps is the Government taking to prevent a rent debt crisis? More than half of private renters aged between 25 and 34 years had no savings in 2018-19. 

“But the Government has repeatedly ignored calls to address this through the social security system.

“Renters are harder hit by the crisis, but Government support has so far focused on landlords and home-owners.”

The exchange comes amid warnings that the end of the ban could see a surge in evictions, with housing charity Shelter last month estimating that 230,000 households were already behind with their rent.

The group said judges should be given the power to stop automatic evictions and urged ministers to guarantee that “the impact of coronavirus is always considered” in any decision.

Meanwhile a cross-party group of MPs on Monday called on ministers to do more to protect homeless people amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter to rough sleeping minister Luke Hall, the MPs — including nine from Labour, one from the DUP and 10 Liberal Democrats — called on the Government to ensure all councils in England can fund accommodation for the homeless “for at least a year”.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said ministers had taken “unprecedented action” to help renters during the pandemic and would do so after the ban ends.

“We have changed court rules so landlords need to provide more information about their tenants’ situation when seeking an eviction – with judges able to adjourn a case if they don’t,” they added.

The department also pointed out that landlords will need to give tenants three months’ notice for possession cases until at least the end of September.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Democrats elect Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to lead campaign arm

gettyimages 1183807009 1

As incoming DCCC chief, Maloney will have one of the trickiest jobs in Washington after the Democrats’ down-ballot trouncing at the polls last month that left Republicans between five and seven seats away from the majority. He will have to convince dozens of new candidates to run in a potentially unfavorable environment and in districts that have yet to be drawn.

Maloney will be immediately inserted into the center of an ideological debate that has gripped House Democrats since Nov 3., with the caucus’s warring factions pointing fingers at each other over exactly why they’re staring down a shrunken majority come January.

Many moderate Democrats — who largely supported Maloney for his ability to win in a Trump-won district — are demanding a new party message that veers starkly away from the GOP’s attacks on socialism and progressive slogans like “defund the police.”

Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are dissecting the internal gears at DCCC, arguing that the operation needs to rely on more diverse staff and consultants, devote more resources to get-out-the-vote efforts and completely rethink its digital operations.

Many progressives, particularly lawmakers of color, had flocked behind Cárdenas, who proved to be a prolific fundraiser and organizer as he built the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s campaign arm, BOLD Pac, from the ground up. And he staked his campaign on a vow to Democrats’ increasingly apparent struggles with Latino. The party suffered surprising losses in heavily Latino seats in Florida, Texas and California.

Cárdenas was vocal about reforming some of DCCC’s practices, including ending a contentious policy that banned the organization from hiring any consultant that has helped a primary challenger of a sitting Democrat — a practice that enraged progressives.

Maloney has acknowledged concerns with messaging and said he would reconsider the DCCC blacklist, though he has been mostly restrained — both publicly and privately — in his assessment of DCCC’s miscalculations.

“The smart thing for the DCCC chair to do is to say, I don’t know what happened until I’ve really had a chance to dig into the numbers,” Maloney said in a recent interview.

As chair, Maloney will have an additional task of shepherding members through the decennial redistricting process, which is fraught with politics and internal bickering, particularly in states that are on track to lose a seat. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the Census Bureau will almost certainly not be able to release its reapportionment data in December, delaying states ability to draw new maps.

It’s entirely possible that redistricting alone creates enough red-friendly seats to place Republicans in the majority in 2022. The GOP has total control of the process in many key states, including Texas, Florida and North Carolina, which could have a combined total of 82 seats.

Heather Caygle contributed to this report.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Students May Not Be Allowed To Return To University For Five Weeks After Christmas To Prevent Spreading Coronavirus Round Campus

thumbnail 1 nnfju4

Many students can only begin to return to campus at the end of January, and some not until 5 week into the spring term


3 min read

Students who go home for Christmas may have to wait five weeks into the spring term before they can return to campus.

That is according to new government coronavirus guidance, which says the measure “is to minimise transmission risks from the mass movement of students”.

The plan says those on practical or medical courses should be allowed to come back on a staggered basis over three weeks from 4 January.

But for those who do not have work, clinical or practical placements or on “courses requiring access to specialist or technical equipment”, they should not begin to go back until 25 January at the earliest, and should be spread out over a fortnight until 7 February.

As most universities plan to end their spring term after 12 weeks on 26 March, some students may be away from campus for almost half of that time.

And with the education department guidance on going home for Christmas stating people should return between tomorrow and 9 December, some students may be off-campus for more than two months.

Professor Glen O’Hara, who teaches modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes university criticised the plans, tweeting: “It is a total joke and an insult to hard-working lecturers and students. 

“It is badly-written, badly-planned and a complete mess. Disgusting.”

The document to higher education providers, published this afternoon, states: “The government is committed to prioritising education and wants to enable all students, including those who have travelled home for the winter break, to return to university and resume blended learning. 

“While we are confident that the face-to-face teaching element of blended learning can be done in COVID-secure environments, the mass movement of students across the country poses a greater risk for the transmission of infection between areas.

“It is important that measures are taken to manage the return to university carefully, to protect students, staff and local communities, while reducing disruption to education. 

“This guidance sets out how we will support HE providers to enable students to return as safely as possible following the winter break, by staggering this process and to facilitate testing for all.”

Providers are advised that: “The return of students should be staggered over 5 weeks – this is to minimise transmission risks from the mass movement of students.”

It also states universities must offer “asymptomatic mass testing to all students on their return”, and says if they are using lateral flow tests then they should be tested twice, the second one three days after their arrival.

The guidance on who can return says “from 4 January to week commencing 18 January 2021 HE providers should allow those students on practical courses to return to campus in line with their planned start dates”.

It adds: “The remaining courses should be offered online from the beginning of term so that students can continue their studies from home. 

“HE providers should plan for students to return gradually from 25 January, over a 2-week period.”

Students are also told to “use private transport wherever possible and only use public transport if they have no other option”, and universities should encourage people to “avoid car sharing with anyone outside their household or support bubble”.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:   “The health and wellbeing of students, staff and local communities is always our primary concern and this plan will enable a safer return for all students. But we must do this in a way which minimises the risk of transmission.

“I know students have had to make sacrifices this year and have faced a number of challenges, but this staggered return will help to protect students, staff and communities.

“It is so important students have the support they need to continue their education, which is why we are providing up to £20m funding for those facing hardship in these exceptional times.”

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Politics

Joe Biden: Covid vaccination in US will not be mandatory

115805250 mediaitem115805246

Mr Biden, and state governors who would be on the front lines of any such mandate, might prefer to target only certain segments of the population more at risk of contracting or spreading Covid-19. For instance, employers could be encouraged to require healthcare and nursing home workers to be immunised, and most children already must have up-to-date shot records before attending public or private schools.

Source link

0
Continue Reading

Trending