Shelter has launched a fund-raising campaign because of what it calls a huge rise in demand for its emergency services, and in anticipation of what it describes as “the rocky months ahead.”
The campaigning charity, which has frequently criticised letting agents, says it has already taken on 26 new housing advisers and has doubled the number of calls answered by its free helpline.
In a bid to maintain this extra capacity and help more people, the charity has launched an urgent appeal for money.
It says £30 could “fund two web chats” including “giving expert digital advice.” A £40 donation could help the charity answer two calls, it says.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, comments: “Through our helpline we have seen just how scared people are about their homes and their futures. People’s lives are literally on the line. They are desperately struggling, and the threat of homelessness is very real.
“At Shelter we are working hard to keep people safe in their homes. Thanks to the generous support of the public and our partners we have been able to answer double the number of calls, but we need to keep this up if we are going to weather the coming storm. To make sure we can always be on the other end of the line, we’re asking the public to support our appeal.”
Franz Doerr, chief executive at deposit alternative firm flatfair, responded to the call by saying not enough has been done to help the rental sector during the pandemic.
“Mountains of arrears are piling up at the feet of landlords who are effectively being asked to prop up the market, yet the government has offered next to nothing by way of support for them” he says.
“The government must urgently provide clarity to both landlords and tenants on how it proposes to help struggling renters repay their debt. Failure to do so will ultimately lead to landlords exiting the market, meaning there will be fewer affordable homes for rent.”