With Tier 3 lockdown measures in force as of tomorrow (14 October) in the Liverpool City Region and the temporary eviction ban ended in England and Wales on September 20, the city is faced with a potentially dramatic rise in homelessness, warns one of the UK’s leading developers of homes for vulnerable individuals and families, Pathway Homes Group.

UK Government introduced a temporary eviction ban as part of the initial pandemic support measures, however, this has now ended, and with a second wave looming, many people could be forced into a position of increased debt, and out of their homes.

North west-based Pathway Homes partners with charities, care providers, housing associations and local authorities to create homes specifically designed for vulnerable adults, including those who are homeless or are threatened by homelessness. The organisation has already delivered over 200 homes for adult homeless across the city region during the past 12 months.

Chanel Williams, Director at Pathway Homes explained: “We are entering a new phase in the pandemic which will see all existing pressures exacerbated with very little support at present. The impact that this will have on so many people, affected by not only a potential loss of income, but also in terms of mental health and wider ability to maintain a good level of wellbeing, is incredibly concerning.

“Agencies and organisations including ourselves are preparing for an influx of demand for specialist housing and are working around the clock with our partners to create much needed homes. Demand for our services is intensifying daily, not just in Liverpool, but throughout the country. Homelessness has been a growing problem in the UK for some time and our goal as an organisation has always been to be a key player in the fight to end it.”

Since lockdown, up to 322,000 people have fallen into arrears through job losses and income cuts, reports Shelter. There are further warnings that as many as 500,000 people could be at risk of homelessness, with the District Councils’ Network citing 108,000 single parents at the greatest risk of losing their homes and a further 100,000 16-24 year-olds whose incomes may be slashed or jobs lost altogether.

The Housing  Secretary’s announcement that tweaks to emergency legislation will now extend notice periods up to six months up to March 2021 for tenants, except for cases involving anti-social behaviour or fraud. This will however be welcome news for those in fear of losing their homes in the run up to the Christmas period, with courts only prioritising cases where anti-social behaviour or a crime has taken place or extreme rent arrears mean that the landlord is facing unmanageable debts.

Chanel continued: “With the uncertainty in the UK due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the work carried out by Pathway Homes has never been so important. As an ethical, socially focussed housing developer, our aim is to provide needs-based housing into areas of the country that need it most. 

“In response to the increased demands on the UK’s already limited supply of accommodation for our homeless and vulnerable population, Pathway Homes Group has set itself the ambitious target of creating 1500 bed spaces over the next 12 months – a 30% increase on our provision in the previous 12 months. Our quality homes will support people when they need it most and offer vital support in these times of austerity and uncertainty.”