Campaigners warn that we are to face a homelessness crisis this autumn, following the closure of the furlough scheme and universal credit boost at the end of September.
While many celebrate a return to normality following the end to lockdown restrictions, the end to government-funded schemes is a cause for concern for others. Founder of The Big Issue, Lord John Bird, has warned that the number of jobs at risk “should be ringing alarm bells throughout the country.”
This comes after Prime minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have expressed that they do not intend to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) “On the basis of what we can see now in the data”. Since its introduction last spring, the scheme has protected 11.6 million jobs, according to the most recent figures. Of this, approximately 540,000 employers with 1.9 million staff are still making use of furlough.
From October, these employers will have to decide whether they can afford to keep their staff, or make them redundant. The forecasted spike in job losses will likely lead to higher rates of mortgage repossessions and rental evictions. Despite the eviction ban from March 2020 – May 2021, a shocking survey by The Big Issue has found that a household in the UK is made homeless every three-and-a-half hours.
With both the Office for Budget Responsibility and Bank of England predicting an increase in unemployment post-furlough, these already dire statistics are only set to worsen. In response, The Big Issue is raising the alarm and galvanizing pressure on the government with a new campaign Stop Mass Homelessness. You can read about the short and long-term goals of the campaign and sign the petition here.
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