CAS outlines steps to improve housing affordability

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Charity recommends three proposals to help tenants find and keep homes.

6th August 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Three key steps would improve access to affordable housing for people on low incomes, according to a charity.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) outlined the recommendations in its response to a consultation on the Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill.

The organisation said more investment in social and affordable housebuilding, backed by a cap on rent increases linked to the rate of inflation, would help tenants find and keep affordable homes.

CAS also called for an end to the freeze on the local housing allowance so low income renters can access more assistance through housing benefit or Universal Credit.

The charity’s social justice spokesperson, Mhoraig Green, said: “Advisers across the Citizens Advice network in Scotland help tens of thousands of people each year with housing issues, and it is clear to us from our client base that dealing with Scotland’s housing problems is a key step to protecting people’s quality of life and getting more money into their pockets.

“Our previous research indicates that 36% of PRS tenants surveyed are struggling to manage financially, with many spending less on food and other essentials to pay their rent

“The proposed Fair Rents Bill includes some welcome steps, such as expanding the landlord registration scheme and attempting to offer predictability in rent to tenants, however we need to see more done make housing more affordable.

“That means building more affordable and social homes and ending the freeze on the local authority housing allowance so more people can access financial support for their rent.

“In the meantime, if people need help with their housing costs, they can get advice and support from their local Citizens Advice Bureaux.”