28 Aug New Homeless Statistics and Evictions Warning
The Homelessness statistics issued by the Scottish Government yesterday were an indication of the depth of the housing emergency facing Scotland.
The statistics cover the period immediately pre-Covid 19 and show increases in people formally going down the homeless route and, worryingly, increases in rough sleeping too.
The Covid emergency saw the majority of rough sleepers brought into hotels and other accommodation but the over-arching issue remains the lack of supply of affordable housing and a system which doesn’t work for too many people.
Of continuing deep concern were the 4500 people refused even temporary accommodation in the last year which is in breach of Scots law.
With the post-Covid economy likely to mean that tens of thousands of people will face an uncertain financial future, it is vital that people get more help with their housing needs.
The Scottish Government have extended the evictions ban but that has not stopped some landlords continuing with pre-action measures just short of eviction.
What you can do
If you get a letter from your landlord threatening eviction or you are just concerned about your housing security here are five things you can do now.
- Don’t panic – eviction is a long process and you are legally entitled to get support and advice from an organisation which specialises in housing, debt, and homelessness. Your landlord has a duty to inform you who these organisations are, and how you can get in contact with them.
- Don’t bury your head in the sand – doing nothing is not an option. At the very least speak to your landlord and explain your situation.
But remember that seeking independent legal advice is your right as a tenant and we believe a vital part of our justice system which helps keep people in their home.
- If you have issues with benefits or debt then get advice from an agency such as Money Advice Scotland or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
- There are really good sources of advice on preventing eviction including our good friends at Shelter Scotland. Check out https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/eviction/preventing_eviction
- Finally – if the advice you receive indicates that you will have to leave your home, make sure you have explored your options with your local authority. You have a right to settled accommodation in Scotland.