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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Local Green MSP Calls for Action to Address Housing Affordability

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Just 10% of 1-3 bedroom homes advertised in the private rented sector in the Highlands & Islands are affordable for people who need housing benefit to support their rent.

The data, from a report published this week by homelessness charity Crisis, highlights that a lack of properties available to rent at affordable rates is putting people at greater risk of homelessness.

Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands said:

“While inflation remains high and household bills continue to rise, there is an almost impossible strain on people’s budgets.

“Measures introduced by Greens in government like emergency rent controls and restrictions on evictions are helping to relive this pressure but, without the full fiscal powers of an independent country, there is very little we can do to address the growing gap between benefit payments and essential costs like rents.

“The Scottish Government has increased the child payment and is mitigating the impact of the bedroom tax and the two-child cap but reckless Tory economics are eating away at everyone’s household budgets.

“The difference between housing benefit and private sector market rent for a two-bedroom property in the region is around £837 a year.

“The UK Government must increase housing benefit to ensure the poorest in our society don’t face the risk of homelessness.

“Meanwhile, through the increased Rural & Island Housing Fund, our recently announced support for rural housing enablers and action to tackle empty and second homes, we’ll be redoubling our efforts in the Scottish Government to ensure more homes that local people can afford are created across the region. “

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