Gordon Brown has called for a national effort to make sure the coronavirus crisis does not lead to a generation of homeless people.
The former Prime Minister told The Big Issue magazine the ban on evictions should not have been lifted by the Tories last month.
With millions of workers already at risk of losing their jobs, he warned that homelessness could push up unemployment even further.
Mr Brown, who has launched an Alliance For Full Employment to tackle the threat of mass unemployment, said the best route out of poverty and homelessness was a job.
He wrote: “Coronavirus must not lead to a new homeless generation.
“For 20 years The Big Issue, governments and community groups have worked to end rough sleeping and when investment was made and determination demonstrated we proved that we could make a difference.
“Now we face a new challenge.
“All too often being homeless also means being jobless. [We] wish to end both.”
The Labour ex-politician said the Government’s ‘Winter Recovery Plan’ offered “nothing new” for 1.5m already unemployed, almost a million on Universal Credit who will soon be registered as unemployed or for 3m self-employed who were excluded from the furlough scheme.
He added: “But the most glaring omission is an improvement to the inadequate Kickstart programme for young people.
“While Kickstart will take on 350,000 young people for six months, there will still be 500,000 under-25s falling through the net and condemned to the breadline – a lost Covid generation with no work and no hope.
“This is not the levelling up promised by this Government.
“We may not yet have a vaccine to stop the spread of the virus, but we do have the economic know-how to stop the rapid spread of unemployment.”