Fears of a homelessness tsunami as Scotland’s low cost housing rent arrears hit a record £174.5m

ARREARS of hire among tenants in Scotland’s low price properties have soared to a document £174.5m resulting in new issues over the price of residing disaster and fears of a tidal wave of homelessness.

The degree of debt involving tenants the use of housing affiliation and native authority lodging as of the top of remaining yr has risen via over £37m since prior to the pandemic. It has soared via £8.5m in simply 3 months.

It is feared there are tens of thousands and thousands extra in hire debt within the non-public sector in Scotland.

It comes after the Herald published that Scotland’s council tax mountain has risen to document ranges, expanding sharply via just about 50% in a yr.

The quantity of council tax that remained exceptional amounted to £139.552m on March 31, 2021. Last yr, prior to the pandemic hit, the council tax debt stood at £95.4m – a upward push of just about 25% at the earlier yr.

As the Covid eviction ban has been lifted, new knowledge noticed via the Herald presentations that the numbers of notices of court cases problems over hire arrears has risen via over two thirds.

Over the 3 months to the top of December there have been 4,215 notices of court cases issued over hire arrears, just about 1700 greater than the within the first 3 months of the monetary yr.

It comes as Citizens Advice Scotland and homelessness charity Crisis mentioned folks threatened with homelessness will have to be capable of get lend a hand previous, as much as six months prior to they’re pressured from their house.

The charities’ research of homelessness instances in Scotland during the last yr, confirmed that that previous intervention and extra joined up improve can have stopped extra folks from being driven into homelessness.

Their remark got here because the collection of homeless folks demise in Scotland’s greatest town has soared via two-and-a-half instances in a yr regardless of the be offering of lodge lodging to forestall deaths from Covid-19, in accordance a “shocking” new research.

Some 80 died in 2021 in Glasgow, an enormous upward push from 33 in 2020, within the peak of the Covid pandemic.

Across Scotland the numbers have risen from 176 to 182.

The numbers which come with homeless folks residing at the streets, settee browsing, and in emergency or transient lodging, were accumulated in an annual audit with the assistance of Freedom of Information requests and a countrywide community of organisations that give a contribution to the Dying Homeless Project overseen via the Museum of Homelessness (MoH).

Both CAS and Crisis say there’s a want for brand new tasks requiring public services and products, equivalent to the ones running in well being and social care or the justice machine, to invite about somebody’s housing scenario then be offering lend a hand if wanted.

The Scottish Tenants Organisation mentioned that the document hire arrears used to be a “clear indication of a tidal wave of homelessness to come as the cost of living crisis gets worse unless the Scottish Government intervenes now to prevent a tsunami of homelessness”.



They mentioned: The Scottish Government will have to put into effect a direct eviction ban so folks can keep of their properties as it’s extra pricey for government to lead them to homeless after which re-house those tenants. In addition an eviction ban would give tenants safety and lend a hand save you bodily and psychological well being getting worse.”

The learn about via CAS and Crisis in line with 185 instances from CAS between January 2021 and January 2022 published how what they known as “a lack of integration of services” gifts a ignored alternative to unravel somebody’s housing scenario prior to they achieve disaster level.

They mentioned that eviction from the non-public rented sector used to be a significant explanation for homelessness, continuously for the reason that landlord wanted to promote or occupy the valuables themselves. This integrated many instances the place the owner used to be now not complying with rules, as an example now not being registered as a landlord or providing the correct tenancy settlement.

Evictions from the social rented sector had been some distance much less not unusual, even supposing they mentioned this can be because of the emergency coronavirus regulation in position on the time, which averted evictions.

The maximum not unusual issues reported at the homelessness machine associated with the standard and suitability of transient lodging, the improve to be had to hide residing prices, and the period of time folks spent inside of it.

Some instances additionally published how the atmosphere related to transient lodging, equivalent to drug and alcohol use via different occupants, noise, and anti-social behaviour, may just exacerbate folks’ psychological well being when pressured to reside in those prerequisites.

It discovered the average reasons of homelessness within the instances analysed had been home abuse, courting breakdown, and eviction from non-public residential tenancies.


Matt Downie, Crisis leader government, mentioned: “We know all too smartly what occurs when housing prices upward push past folks’s earning. Pressure builds up in folks’s lives, they begin to battle for each day necessities, after which sooner or later it turns into an excessive amount of and they’re pressured into the trauma and indignity of homelessness.

“But it doesn’t must be this manner. The pandemic confirmed that with the precise political will Scotland could make large development in its adventure in opposition to tackling tough drowsing and finishing homelessness, however it’s now crucial that momentum isn’t misplaced and that the United Kingdom Government helps those efforts via making sure housing receive advantages covers the actual price of rents.

“We also strongly support the Scottish Government’s plans to strengthen homelessness prevention, so that people can get help earlier, alongside new duties for public services to ask about someone’s housing situation, then act to offer help if required. The best way to end homelessness is to prevent it, but it’s vital we take action now.”

According to Shelter Scotland, councils all over Scotland didn’t ship social properties for as much as 7500 homeless kids.

The housing charity says native authority leaders are “failing children across the country” relating to social housing and has known as on councils to step up and “urgently tackle the deepening housing emergency” forward of May’s elections.

In Glasgow by myself the most recent figures display there have been 2480 kids in transient lodging, whilst 1515 kids in Edinburgh face the similar scenario.

In Aberdeen, a family with kids in transient lodging will on reasonable spend 103 days prior to getting an enduring place of abode, whilst in Dundee that determine rises to 285 days.

Shelter Scotland says its research of housing plans presentations that no less than 7000 social properties are wanted over the following 5 years in Edinburgh, 3675 in Glasgow, 853 in Aberdeen and 655 in Dundee.

Scottish Tenants Organisation marketing campaign co-ordinator Sean Clerkin mentioned: “We would additionally urge the implementation of hire controls in private and non-private sector renting to lend a hand inclined tenants at the moment.

“The Scottish Government has to act now to protect all tenants in Scotland.”

A Scottish Government spokesman mentioned: “We are doing all we can to ensure people, communities and businesses are given as much support as possible to deal with the rising cost of living. Many of the powers required to tackle these issues, including energy markets, are reserved to the United Kingdom Government, however the necessary steps we proposed for the Chancellor’s Spring observation had been in large part unnoticed.

“The Scottish Government is uprating 8 Scottish advantages via 6% from 1 April in addition to doubling our Scottish Child Payment from £10 every week consistent with eligible kid to £20. The Scottish Child Payment will likely be additional greater to £25 via the top of 2022. We are the use of our powers to lend a hand those that want us maximum in those tough instances and we have now known as for the United Kingdom Government to observe our lead and uprate social safety advantages via 6%.

“We are making an investment £100 million between 2018 and 2026 to take ahead our Ending Homelessness Together motion plan. As a part of this, we have now dedicated £52.5 million in opposition to Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans and Housing First, to offer folks with settled lodging.

“The extensive measures we have taken come despite the UK Government’s announcement of funding to mitigate the cost of living crisis reducing the resources the Scottish Government expected to have available.”

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