THREAD on tenants rights and the #PFG

I welcome tenant hardship loan fund which will help tenants in the short term. I thank the FM for her engagement on this matter in recent weeks. 1/9
Notwithstanding this, however, this is money which in fact will go straight to bailing out landlords. Of course it also sustains tenants in their tenancy and avoids eviction due to arrears for so long as rents can be paid. 2/9
But tenants are falling into arrears. The loans need 2b repaid. Not all tenants will be able to afford to take a loan or be able to service the debt. It would be at least proportionate to ban evictions for arrears where tenants are in receipt of loans and paying them off. 3/9
The FM also stated that “we legislated to stop people being evicted”. Unfortunately this in effect is only a 6 month delay followed by the ability to challenge in the tribunal. Tenants are being evicted now under Notices to Leave issued before 7 April 4/9
And the 6 month delay will end over winter for tenants issued with Notices to Leave since 7 April with Eviction Orders being sought from 1 Oct. Many more tenants won’t wait or won’t challenge and will lose their homes. 5/9
So yes, we need further action. Regrettably, Greens proposals were all defeated in 2nd Coronavirus Bill. However, to be fair to FM, she has now said she is open minded on future options. That is welcome. 6/9
These options must include real rent controls, a rent freeze, removing some of the grounds for eviction & preventing eviction for good on grounds of arrears arising because of covid (especially if tenant is in receipt of loan funds). 7/9
This is not just 2protect tenants but 2mitigate the potential costs on public purse due 2 homelessness. Ultimately the challenge is 2 make available genuinely affordable housing for all. Greens will be publishing further details on how to achieve this in the weeks ahead. 8/9
We have missed some important opportunities in past months and legislative change is still needed. This is a challenge for all political parties in the lead up to 2021 elections. Scottish Greens will always stand up for tenants. 9/9
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