NUS Scotland joins tenants’ union’s demand for ‘winter break’ for evictions
Scotland’s largest student organisation has joined with Scotland’s only tenants’ union to demand a ‘winter break’ to forced evictions.
The Living Rent tenants’ union has been backed by NUS Scotland in the call to prevent winter deaths on Scotland’s streets.
According to figures from Shelter Scotland, over 5,000 people sleep rough in Scotland throughout the year. A previous investigation from The Ferret further found that 94 people had died in Scotland whilst homeless over the past 12 months.
With temperatures set to plummet over the winter months, NUS Scotland has joined with Living Rent to call on the Scottish Government to introduce a ‘winter break’ law.
The winter break, which has been implemented in France since 1956, ensures no one is evicted from a rented property or has their power supply cut off during the winter months (November – March).
NUS Scotland vice-president (communities), Elena Semple, said: “The Living Rent tenants’ union has been incredibly successful in empowering tenants across Scotland on their housing rights. Like NUS Scotland, they use collective power of members to come together to fight for their rights as tenants.
“As Scotland’s largest student organisation, we are proud to join and support their calls for an end to winter deaths on Scotland’s streets.
“Often at the behest of unscrupulous, rogue landlords, students are tenants at most risk as they are vulnerable to those who seek to make a quick profit on the lack of affordable rented accommodation.
“As temperatures plummet over the winter months, rough sleeping and homelessness numbers continue to rise – a situation that is entirely avoidable.
“NUS Scotland are delighted to join and support the campaign to introduce a ‘winter break’ on housing evictions during the winter months.
“We are calling on the Scottish Government to engage in the campaign, ensuring everyone across the country has access to safe, secure and warm accommodation this winter.”
David Hanson from the Living Rent tenants’ union added: “As homelessness rises in Scotland, the threat of eviction in the midst of another brutally cold winter continues to be unacceptable. With almost 100 people alone dying while homeless last year.
“As a student member in Glasgow it is great to see one the NUS in Scotland come out with such a strong statement in support of the campaign.
“With increasing support from NUS and other union bodies we hope this can only further encourage the Scottish Government to implement a ‘winter break’ to all evictions to tackle one of the root causes of homelessness and ensure that tenants are safe through the winter months.”