Living rent rates call as Shelter launches new site

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‚ÄčLegislation should cap rents for low income families 

20th July 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Campaigners are calling for rent controls to become legislation to ease Scotland’s housing crisis.

The call comes as a new Shelter Scotland website launched depicting housing through the ages, outlining progress and struggles.

Images and vintage news reel footage document changes in living conditions over the last 100 years with an interactive map of Scotland showing just how far the country has to go to meet housing demand.

Campaigner Mary Barbour, who mobilised her community in Govan, Glasgow, to stand up for tenants’ rights and defy rising prices from landlords in 1915, features large as does the slum clearances of the 1930s.

The post-war building boom and the rise of new towns like East Kilbride and Cumbernauld is also featured.

Living Rent Campaign organiser Gordon Maloney said the launch of the site showed how much history has played a part in achieving better rights for tenants. 

He added: “Our campaign was set up last year looking at what we see as a crisis developing in the private rental sector.

“In the past some of the successes have come from a really vibrant tenants’ movement. That seems to have died out but we want to bring it back.”

The campaign has support from organisations including Unison, Zero Tolerance and the National Union of Students.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said of the new website: “This is a fascinating look at housing in Scotland over the last 100 years and depicts all too clearly the utter destitution and suffering caused by bad housing and homelessness that was – and still is – being faced by thousands of people in Scotland.

“It shows us that great progress has been made in terms of legislation, support services and the quality of housing over the last century, but the stark reality is that we still have a long way to go, with many of the failings of the housing system that led to Shelter Scotland being formed in 1968 still existing today.”

The site can be accessed by visiting scotlandhousingcrisis.org.uk