The Jersey Tenants Forum have hit out at the Government for “unacceptable” delays in addressing urgent housing issues, after they voiced their concerns about rising rents and evictions during 'lockdown-lite' nearly two months ago.
The Forum had previously contacted Ministers in December to discuss a law change last year that they said would lead to evictions, increased rents, and anxiety – however, they are still yet to hear back on a meeting date.
Emergency measures put in place to ensure protection for all tenants during the pandemic were removed at the end of September last year, allowing landlords to once again evict them for not keeping up with their rent.
They drew comparisons to the UK, which has extended its protections for private tenants until the end of March, when initially they were due to end on 22 February.
Pictured: Both the Chief Minister and the then Housing Minister Deputy Jeremy Maçon were contacted about the issue, but a meeting has yet to be set up.
The Tenants' Forum, concerned at the lack of protections now in place for tenants, had first sent an e-mail to former-Housing Minister Jeremy Maçon and the Chief Minister on December 28, expressing their concern that the change to the Government’s Covid Emergency Powers would allow private landlords to raise rents and evict tenants.
On January 30, a follow-up e-mail was sent reminding Ministers that a meeting still hadn't been arranged – however, as of this week, no meeting has been organised.
A representative for the Tenants Forum said: “There are a number of issues here: it is unacceptable that an organisation requests a meeting and is still waiting for that meeting two months later. Ministers cannot ignore the public just because they may not like what they have to say."
Pictured: The Forum want to see private tenants have the protections they were given at the start of the pandemic reinstated.
They continued: “Secondly, there is a need to act now on this issue. We know the economy is going to be in a position where it needs support as it recovers. People’s incomes will also be finely balanced.
“Private tenants need the same protections that the State has already extended to those in Social housing. No evictions and a rent freeze. This will give physical and mental security during this important time.
“Thirdly, private tenants are not asking for something that is unusual or unwarranted. It is something that is happening everywhere else in the British Isles and in Europe. This is because it provides help to some of the most vulnerable in society at one of the most difficult times.”
Express has contacted the Government and is awaiting a response.
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