Times’ letters: Coronavirus - private renters, lymphoma and diabetes

PUBLISHED: 08:30 19 April 2020

London Assembly member Navin Shah is concerned for private renters during the Covid-19 crisis.

London Assembly member Navin Shah is concerned for private renters during the Covid-19 crisis.


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Protecting our renters

Navin Shah AM, Brent and Harrow, writes:

With a quarter of Londoners living in the private rented sector, we need to see stronger protections put in place for them over the coming months.

It has been welcome to see that the government have announced that all court proceedings relating to housing possession should be suspended for 90 days. In turn, landlords have been given a three-month mortgage payment holiday, where needed.

However, many Londoners are asking what will happen after this period.

A significant number of renters have already fallen into financial hardship and are unable to cover the costs of living.

It is inevitable that leaving tenants to negotiate the repayment of any rent arrears with their landlords and agencies, without adequate support, will lead to widespread cases of unfair and unregulated disputes.

To prevent this from happening, the chancellor should proportionately increase local housing allowance and statutory sick pay to cover average London rents.

On top of this, we must also see an end to the five-week wait for initial Universal Credit payments.

If we continue to kick the can down the road, we could sadly be facing a flood of evictions in the Autumn.

Let’s stop that from happening.

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Join the group

Karen Bonell, Lymphoma Action, writes:

During these unprecedented times, connecting over social media is one way that people can keep in touch. This is even more important for those who are shielding because of health issues or vulnerability.

Lymphoma Action has launched a closed Facebook group for anyone affected by Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The support group is a great place for people affected by lymphoma to share information and tips about coping with the current situation, as well as thoughts and emotions about their diagnosis.

If any reader would like to join the closed Facebook support group they should search for Lymphoma Action Support UK.

For more information about lymphoma, including information about lymphoma and Covid-19, please visit the Lymphoma Action website at

Help with isolating

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK, writes:

Diabetes UK has developed a guide to support people who are isolated at home.

The guide offers tips on everything from ways to keep active at home, eating well, looking after yourself and connecting with others.

Routine and non-essential appointments may have been cancelled or postponed, so it is even more vital to carry out checks at home such as properly looking after your feet every day and keeping a close eye on blood sugar levels.

Visit to download your free guide. If you have any questions or concerns about managing the condition in this difficult time, please call the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm. Links to up-to-date government coronavirus information can be found at

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