Original article from Kent Live
A mum of four from Whitstable faces eviction in September following the end of coronavirus protection laws.
Victoria Hutton, a lone parent to her four boys, aged five, seven, 10, and 16, has been forced to survive on food parcels during lockdowns.
Victoria’s cleaning business has failed during the pandemic and now she fears she’ll lose her family home if nothing is done.
Coronavirus protections that have kept people like Victoria safe from bailiff evictions end on May 31 in England and Housing law specialists Landlord Action are predicting an 'eviction avalanche' starting on June 1.
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The Mirror has reported on the challenges facing people around the country.
Victoria says she takes any work she can find, and her eldest son works part-time in a fish and chip shop, as well as studying for his GCSEs.
Victoria added: “I am desperate not to lose my home,”
“I have been given a notice to quit, if I don’t pay off my arrears by September 13,” she says. “I’m really worried. It isn’t a nice situation to be in, especially with four children.”
A Canterbury City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of Miss Hutton’s situation and have been working with her, as we would any tenant, to try and resolve it.
"This has included providing a discretionary housing payment, setting up repayment plans and giving her advice about organisations that can help with managing her finances.
“This work will continue and we hope to be able to resolve matters so that she does not lose her home.”
There have been around 20,000 fewer evictions than in a non-pandemic year, so experts believe there are at least this many ‘stuck’ in the system – added to the sky-rocketing number people falling into rent arrears during COVID-19.
Housing charity Shelter says 215,000 private renting adults in England have either been threatened with eviction or received some kind or formal or informal eviction from their landlord, while a further 235,000 are behind on their rent.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Every day, our emergency helpline hears from people like Ian and Victoria trapped in desperate situations. And they are far from alone – six million people in England are now more afraid of becoming homeless due to the pandemic.
“Unless the government does something to help the people who are falling dangerously behind on their rent, an evictions crisis is inevitable.
"To help struggling renters keep hold of their homes, the government needs to provide financial support to clear Covid rent-debts – before it’s too late. It must also scrap the benefit cap, so our welfare system can do what it’s meant to.”