06 Sep 2022

CIH Scotland responds to Programme for Government

The Scottish Government has announced its Programme for Government for 2022-23 which sets out its legislative priorities for the year ahead.

Responding to the announcement, CIH Scotland’s national director Callum Chomczuk said:

“We welcome much of the immediate support announced by the Scottish Government today. The cost of living crisis is affecting people across Scotland and risks significant increases in poverty. The package of measures announced today, including an increase in the Scottish Child Payment, will provide some relief for the most vulnerable.

“We recognise the proposed freeze in rents will be welcomed by many tenants, but this cannot be a long-term solution to the current crisis. We urge the Scottish Government to ensure that sufficient financial support is available to avoid catastrophic increases in rent arrears and mitigate any unintended consequences while evictions are suspended.

“In the social rented sector, landlords reported the highest level of rent arrears since the introduction of the Scottish Social Housing Charter, currently just under £170 million. Social landlords rely on rental income to fund new affordable homes, maintain and improve existing homes, and provide vital services to tenants. If the sector is to continue to meet its social purpose, it must have financial certainty.   

“We understand that the Scottish Government is limited in what it can commit to before the UK Government announces its support package. In the emergency budget, and longer term, we must see a greater commitment to delivering affordable homes and further investment in upgrading existing homes to reduce energy demand and meet net-zero ambitions

“The forthcoming Housing Bill should be used to create longer-term security for tenants and ensure that routes to redress such as the First Tier Tribunal are streamlined, providing quick and simple adjudication on cases such as rent increases, providing greater certainty for landlords and tenants.”

If you're a CIH member, download our what you need to know about the Programme for Government briefing which summarises all of the key elements.