Call to extend eviction ban until April
Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer and the Govan Law Centre (GLC) have called on the Scottish Government to extend the winter eviction ban until April to bring it in line with the end of the furlough scheme.
The temporary law, which is currently set to end on January 22, applies to all eviction notices issued on or after 7 April 2020, with the exception of cases of serious anti-social behaviour.
With the First Minister’s announcement of more stringent lockdown measures, GLC is calling for a commensurate extension to the winter eviction ban in Scotland.
GLC’s principal solicitor and solicitor advocate, Mike Dailly, said: “When the Scottish government exercised its powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 before Christmas to ban winter evictions it did so in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of coronavirus in Scotland.
“That threat is now clearly heightened and more pernicious than before. The thought of parents and children being made homeless during the height of the pandemic makes no sense. The logic for the eviction ban is now more compelling.
“A short extension to the eviction ban would be a proportionate public health response to the Covid-19 threat. It would help prevent additional burdens being placed on Scottish health and housing services, which are already stretched with staff having to work from home or self-isolate.”
Speaking in Parliament yesterday afternoon, West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer said that evicting people during a lockdown would be “downright dangerous” and called for the First Minister to extend the ban.
Mr Greer said: “The winter evictions ban was introduced after pressure from tenants’ groups such as Living Rent and discussions between the Scottish Government and Green MSPs, but this will expire on 22nd January. It would be grossly unjust and downright dangerous to have people losing their homes during a lockdown and with the virus once again out of control. The Government must extend the evictions ban now and ensure it remains in place until at least the end of April.”