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Highlands MSP calls for urgent eviction ban extension

By Chris Saunderson

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Ariane Burgess, the newly elected Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has called on the Scottish Government to extend the current eviction ban for as long as coronavirus restrictions remain in place.

Ariane Burgess has hit the ground running in the Scottish Parliament.
Ariane Burgess has hit the ground running in the Scottish Parliament.

She has also called for the government to work collaboratively to deliver a better deal for Scotland’s renters as part of the pandemic recovery plan.

Ms Burgess said: “I’m proud that Green MSPs worked with the government to deliver an eviction ban over the winter months. This has provided a lifeline for many throughout the pandemic.

“This week we’ve seen the Highland and Moray Council areas move to level two, which is welcome, but the impact of the pandemic doesn’t disappear and now struggling families may face eviction.

“Roughly 15 per cent of households in the Highlands are in the private rented sector and those tenants deserve to have security in these difficult times.”

“While Moray is set to enter level two, the situation there has shown that we are still facing a serious public health emergency and the situation could change rapidly.

“Evicting vulnerable people who have been unable to work or earn during the pandemic is deeply unfair. As a minimum we need to keep the eviction ban in place for as long as restrictions remain.

"The sad reality is that Scotland is decades behind our European neighbours when it comes to tenants’ rights, and the pandemic has shone a light on many of the challenges faced by renters.

“The introduction of a winter eviction ban was a great step forward and one that I’d urge the government to make permanent. But we can do so much more like introducing rent controls and establishing a private rented sector regulator.”

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