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Pandemic related debts should be top of the housing ministers in tray

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Tue 18 May 2021

Pandemic related debts should be top of the housing ministers in tray

The pandemic-related debts in the private rented sector should be “top of the Housing Minister’s in-tray”, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) following the formation of a new Welsh government.

In the wake of the Senedd election on 6 May, Mark Drakeford has formed his new cabinet.

Julie James remains in charge of housing in the new role of minister for climate change. Lee Waters joins as her deputy.

With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing, the NRLA says that justification for existing measures in the private rented sector are not only void, but are making things worse as financial support for tenants and landlords is still lacking.

The NRLA is calling on the Welsh government to publish a comprehensive plan for moving the private rented sector away from emergency measures and onto a stable footing for the future.

The association argues that this plan should include an immediate reform of the eviction ban,  fairer access to Tenancy Saver Loans, and a clear timetable for a return to business as normal.

Ben Beadle, the NRLA’s chief executive, said: “The Welsh government has won many plaudits for its considered approach to the Covid-crisis, but it has wholly failed to consider the needs of those living and working in the private rented sector.

“The government must act swiftly to address the mounting rent debt crisis that is set to engulf renters and landlords alike. It must also act to ensure that housing providers in Wales are not left high and dry without access to justice.

“If action is not taken soon, the damage caused by the lack of a comprehensive and balanced approach to exiting emergency measures will be felt for years to come.”