Urgent call for government to ban winter evictions

Credit: Andrea Popa

Joanne Krus
Deputy News Editor

Glasgow City Council has unanimously supported a motion to prevent evictions during the winter and are now urging the Scottish Government to join them.

A housing union is urging the Scottish Government to back their campaign calling for a “winter break” on evictions.

Living Rent, a Scottish Tenants’ Union, said their goal is to prevent people from being evicted during the coldest months of the year.

According to Shelter Scotland, there are around 5,000 people who have to sleep rough throughout the year and the risks of rough sleepers dying on the street rise during winter.

Glasgow Councillor Tanya Wisely, who is part of the council’s Green Group, proposed the “winter break” motion, which has been unanimously supported by Glasgow councillors.

The motion states: “The council understands there are a variety of ways that this policy intent could be achieved, ranging from an eviction ban similar to that which already exists in France, the requirement to rehouse, stronger pre-action requirements which take into consideration people’s situation, or a stronger emergency housing safety net.

“The council supports this as part of a wider package of action to reduce evictions, and to better support tenants who are facing eviction, recognising that the main route into homelessness is still through a loss of tenancy.”

The motion would prevent landlords from evicting tenants from 1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020.

According to Ms Wisely, last winter saw almost 700 people using Glasgow Night Shelter.

Elaine McDougall, a Labour councillor, said: “I hope that all of us in this chamber could agree that housing is a right, not a privilege.

“A roof over your head and a warm home to call your own is something that every single person in our city is entitled to.”

The council will now proceed to get Scottish government’s Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, to support this motion and help reduce evictions across Scotland.