THE Big Issue Group has launched a campaign aimed at ensuring millions of low income people living in rented accommodation can stay in their homes.

A van bearing the text “Rishi’s Removals – Driving families out of their homes” – was driven around Westminster.

The organisation has challenged the Prime Minister to end housing insecurity amid “crippling” bills.

It comes after Humza Yousaf confirmed that the Scottish Government plans to introduce “long-term” rent controls in his Programme for Government.

The National:

The Big Issue called for an increase in universal credit, an end to no-fault evictions and said the Renters Reform Bill should be brought forward.

Renters are facing a “barrage” of increases in the cost of food, fuel and rent, while those receiving Universal Credit and housing benefit are being driven into debt and homelessness, just to afford the basics, said the Big Issue.

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue Group, said: “Renters are facing the biggest housing crisis in a generation, and if the Government don’t take urgent action urgently, it’ll become a homelessness crisis.

“Skyrocketing rents are forcing millions of those on the lowest incomes to forgo essentials like food and heating to keep a roof over their head. Those in the private rented sector face the added threat of unregulated no-fault evictions driving families out of their homes every day.

“Sadly, we at the Big Issue are witnessing the strain of making ends meet amongst our vendors. In 2022, we supported 144 vendors to find, access and maintain a secure home and supported 170 vendors to maximise income, take action on debts, and access financial services.

“We are investing in organisations to tackle the housing crisis at a local level. We have managed to do a lot but we need the Government to take action too.

“We’ve been waiting for the Renters Reform Bill to end no-fault evictions and fulfil the Government’s manifesto commitment for coming up to four years now. It’s time to end the delays. Now that Parliament has returned, we must get this on the statute books and make sure the provisions in it for ending damaging no-fault evictions are watertight.

“Anything less will be a betrayal of this country’s millions of renters.”

Iain Porter, senior policy adviser at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “The Prime Minister can’t guarantee everyone a secure home without ensuring everyone can afford the essentials which is why we think it’s so important to back this campaign.

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“We know that one of the reasons why people can’t get all the essentials they need like food, hygiene products or warm showers, is because they have to prioritise their soaring housing costs.

“The simple fact is that universal credit falls far short of what’s needed to cover all these essentials. It’s undignified that the Government is willing to leave people in these circumstances.”

The Big Issue has launched a petition as part of its campaign to end housing insecurity.

The National has approached Downing Street for comment.