Covid Scotland: Homelessness from private tenants drops by more than 40% under eviction ban

Homelessness from private rental tenancies across Scotland fell by more than 40% last year amid greater coronavirus protections, official statistics show.

New Scottish Government figures show a drop of 2,161 from 5,145 to 2,984, which represents a 42% drop.

Holyrood introduced a nationwide ban on evictions at the start of the outbreak as part of emergency coronavirus measures.

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This continued until January, although sheriff officers still cannot remove anyone in a Level 3 or 4 restrictions tier unless under strict circumstances.

Covid Scotland: Homelessness from private tenants drops by more than 40% under eviction ban
Covid Scotland: Homelessness from private tenants drops by more than 40% under eviction ban

Housing Secretary Shona Robison said: "Throughout the pandemic, the Scottish Government's priority has been to keep people safe from coronavirus.

"We introduced protections to prevent evictions, which have contributed to a 42% reduction in homelessness applications from the private rented sector.

"As recently as last week we announced a £10 million grant fund to support tenants who are struggling as a direct result of the pandemic.”

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She continued: "We also saw a huge effort by partners to work collectively and move hundreds of people from the streets and night shelters into a place of safety.

"The number of people sleeping rough in the areas where it was concentrated is now at a record low.

"Although this has contributed to an increase in the numbers in temporary accommodation, our utmost objective now is to step up our work with councils to ensure people are supported into permanent settled accommodation."

The figures show there were 33,792 applications for homelessness assistance in 2020/21 - a decrease of 3,251 from the previous year.

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