SFHA comments on Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill
Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament on 31 March.
Commenting on the introduction on Tuesday 31 March of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament, Sally Thomas, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), said:
“SFHA agrees with the Scottish Government that evictions should be suspended for those experiencing financial hardship caused by the coronavirus outbreak. This is absolutely the right thing to do in order to support people who are struggling financially.
“We welcome the measures that are being put in place for evictions in relation to anti-social and criminal behaviour as it is vital that housing associations can put the safety and wellbeing of those affected by such actions first and take appropriate steps to deal with this.”
Sally Thomas continued:
“Rental income is vital for social landlords. It allows them to provide support and services for tenants and to carry out essential repairs and maintenance work. These frontline services are needed to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of tenants, and it is critical that they can continue during the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is crucial that tenants who are able to do so continue to pay their rent. Social landlords have always worked hard to help their tenants to manage their rent through tenancy support, welfare advice and financial inclusion services – and they will continue to do this. Housing associations will work with tenants to ensure they are aware of, and accessing, the social security support, such as Universal Credit, for which they may be eligible.
“However, we have alerted Scottish Government to the likely need for financial support for housing associations and co-operatives that experience income loss due to a reduction in rent payments. This support is more important than ever as we all work together to minimise the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable people in our communities, many of whom live in social housing.”
For further information, please contact SFHA Media Adviser Kirsten Walker on m: 0788 788 8348 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors:
The SFHA is the national membership body for, and voice of, housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland.