Commenting on the end of the ban on evictions for renters in England and Wales, which ends this Sunday, 20 September, BMA board of science chair Professor Dame Parveen Kumar said:
“At a time when a significant number of people are facing economic uncertainty or have lost their jobs, lifting the eviction ban could have devastating consequences, placing many people at risk of becoming homeless.
“With the number of cases rising rapidly and as we enter the winter months, it is vital that people have a safety net so they do not end up without stable accommodation, or even on the streets.
“The Government must do more to identify those at risk and ensure that they are given the support they need. For those that are currently homeless, there needs to be adequate funding to ensure their placement into suitable and safe accommodation, alongside access to healthcare services.
“In the midst of a pandemic, the homeless population are particularly vulnerable to both contracting and dying from the virus and so need greater protection. We have an unnecessary and shameful homelessness problem in the UK, and with a vaccination still a long way off the Government must not allow more people to slip through the cracks.
“The Government must enact emergency legislation to enable everyone either sleeping rough, or who is homeless and cannot self-isolate, or at risk of these eventualities, to have access to safe accommodation. Those at risk will undoubtedly be incredibly concerned about what the future holds in store.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.