FABIANI PRAISE FOR SOCIAL HOUSING REFORMS

Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has praised the announcement from the Scottish Government to introduce a number of housing reforms as part of  the forthcoming Housing Bill, addressing many of the concerns felt, especially in East Kilbride, of housing allocation and anti-social behaviour. The reforms will allow more flexibility in the system to better suit the needs of communities as well as introducing a minimum period before anti-social tenants are eligible for the allocation of new social housing.  These reforms will enable landlords to give Short Scottish Secure Tenancies to applicants and tenants with a history of antisocial behaviour and simplify eviction procedures for tenants convicted of serious offences.

Linda said:

“The forthcoming Housing Bill will allow social landlords to address the specific needs of the local community, ensuring best use of available social housing.

“I am aware that anti-social behaviour can sometimes be a problem here in East Kilbride and that far too often it is the victims who feel they want to leave their home due to the length of time it can take to deal with the perpetrators. I hope that these measures will allow landlords to deal with anti-social behaviour in a quick and decisive manner and that these reforms will help to ensure further protection is provided for tenants.

“A shortage of affordable homes has been a problem in East Kilbride since the right to buy was introduced.  Despite Westminster’s cuts to our capital budget, the Scottish Government has taken every opportunity to increase their investment in housing. By the end of April £200 million in additional funding had been allocated for housing supply, bringing total investment to almost £860 million in three years to March 2015. The Housing Bill is the continuation of the hard work this Government has done to redress some of the mistakes of previous governments and demonstrates our commitment to building safe and happy communities.”

 

Notes to Editors

Speaking at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ Annual Conference, the Housing Minister outlined the measures, which are likely to form part of a forthcoming Housing Bill.

This includes:

  • Replacing prescriptive and outdated priority groups with a broader framework that gives landlords and their communities more local flexibility
  • Allowing landlords to consider any property that a social housing applicant already owns when allocating housing
  • Introducing a qualifying period before succession to a tenancy following the death of a tenant
  • Allowing a minimum period to be put in place before antisocial tenants are eligible for the allocation of social housing
  • Introducing a new right for tenants to appeal a landlord’s decision to suspend them from being allocated a property
  • Allowing landlords to give Short Scottish Secure Tenancies to applicants and tenants with a history of antisocial behaviour
  • Simplifying eviction procedures for tenants convicted of a serious offence

The consultation on Affordable Rented Housing: Creating More Flexibility for Landlords and Better Outcomes for Communities which took place in spring 2012 is one of a number of consultations which has taken place on possible changes to legislation over the last year and the Scottish Government expects to announce further policy changes shortly.

The forthcoming Housing Bill will be laid before Parliament in due course.

To keep up to date with developments on these changes visit: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/16342/management/consultation

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