A HOUSING chief says the Government’s four-week extension of the eviction ban only postpones a “wave of homelessness”.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the last-minute move yesterday... just four days before the original ban was set to expire.

Once the newly-extended restriction ends on September 20, landlords will have to give renters six months’ notice for an eviction except in cases of “serious issues” such as antisocial behaviour or domestic abuse.

Brighton and Hove City Council joint housing chief Councillor David Gibson said the extension is welcome “but not nearly long enough”.

He called on the Government to extend the ban until March so the city council can concentrate on housing existing homeless people.

“The council has been set a target of rehousing all the rough sleepers offered safe accommodation in the lockdown by March 31,” Cllr Gibson said.

“The last thing we need is more people being evicted onto the streets by ending the ban.

The Argus: Brighton and Hove City Council housing chief Councillor David Gibson said extension is not nearly long enoughBrighton and Hove City Council housing chief Councillor David Gibson said extension is not nearly long enough

“Restarting evictions will unleash a wave of homelessness.

“I urge the Government to extend the ban further until March and ask landlords to work with tenants to find ways of sustaining their homes if they are having difficulties with the rent.”

Paul Williams of renters’ union Acorn Brighton said the move is “a sticking plaster”.

“This is good news for tenants who would be facing the start of eviction proceedings in the near future,” he said.

“However, in the long term it is little more than a sticking plaster, doing nothing to help people falling into arrears or to protect tenants from section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions further down the road. It simply postpones the crisis.

“Unless renters’ debt is wiped and proper legal protections such as the implementation of the promised ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions are enforced, we will be in the same situation in a month’s time.”

The Argus: Renters' union organiser Paul WilliamsRenters' union organiser Paul Williams

Despite the extension of the ban, Acorn activists will host a “day of action” in Brighton today, organising picket lines outside letting agents and Brighton County Court.

National Residential Landlord Association chief executive Ben Beadle criticised the extension, claiming landlords are now “powerless” to evict renters in debt and “disruptive” tenants.