Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed confirmation from the First Minister that the Scottish Government intend to extend the current ban on most evictions until at least the 31st March 2021, but warned further support is needed for tenants to keep their homes beyond that date.
CAS Social Justice spokesperson, Nina Ballantyne, said:
“We're glad to see the Scottish Government respond to the concerns we've repeatedly raised through the Private Rented Sector Resilience group about how vulnerable tenants are in this pandemic.
“Stopping evictions and preventing homelessness during this renewed crisis period is absolutely the right thing to do. It's the right thing to keep tenants safe, but also the right thing for public health too.
“The experience of the Citizens Advice network in Scotland clearly shows that tenants struggling with rent need time to access advice and support. This extra time will give more people the opportunity to seek advice, access financial support and agree repayment plans or rent reductions to address arrears.
“However, many tenants including students, people with no recourse to public funds and others who are not eligible for Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Discretionary Housing Payments, still cannot access grant support to help them pay rent. We hope to continue working with Scottish Government on further options for these groups so no group of tenants is left.”