StepChange: Mortgage holidays welcome, but what about tenants?

Jessica Bird

May 22, 2020

Peter Tutton StepChange mortgage holidays comment

StepChange Debt Charity has welcomed the proposals from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to extend the window for mortgage borrowers to apply for a payment holiday to 31 October.

Peter Tutton (pictured), head of policy at StepChange, said: “Given that there will undoubtedly be people currently furloughed who are subsequently made redundant, it’s very clear that some mortgage holders who are going to need help perhaps don’t even realise it yet.

“This extension is therefore essential.

“At the same time, a further temporary extension also makes sense for others who are unable to get back to their normal financial situation as soon as they had hoped, but who will do before long.

“We strongly support firms signposting all negatively affected customers to debt advice; charities like StepChange can help people think through their whole financial situation, not just their mortgage.”

However, the charity has also highlighted the need for interventions on behalf of tenants.

Tutton said: “The mortgage extension does beg the question about whether similar interventions will be forthcoming from the government to protect tenants in a similar way.

“The FCA cites ‘keeping a roof over people’s heads during a public health crisis’ as part of its rationale for intervention, and this applies as much in the rented sector as to the mortgage sector.”

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