Thu 14 Sep, 2017

Rental hikes have hit Glaswegians hard as landlords raise prices disproportionately compared to the rise in incomes. With the shortage of affordable homes in the city continuing, we cannot afford to allow the private rented sector to continue this way. Cllr Christy Mearns

Green councillors in Glasgow today called on the SNP administration to commit to looking deeper into potential ‘Rent Pressure Zones’ in the city.

The two parties will work together after an amendment, put forward by Councillor Christy Mearns which suggested that the findings of any such report be reported by June next year, was accepted by the SNP.

New powers granted by the Scottish Government could see Glasgow City Council apply to have these designated zones, which limit rent increases, across the city.

While the SNP are proposing the use of powers granted by the Government last year, Greens feel that it is important that both city-wide and localised zones be looked into.

Previously put forward in their Glasgow manifesto in May, the group are concerned about the lack of research that has been done into RPZs in the city.

This amendment comes as tenant’s union group Living Rent continue to push for more affordable housing in the city.

Anderston/City & Yorkhill councillor Christy Mearns, spokesperson for communities/neighbourhoods, said:

“Something needs to be done immediately in Glasgow to tackle private rent.

“Green councillors are working to ensure that those people who rent can create a stable home without the fear of being pushed out of their homes by rent increases.

“Rental hikes have hit Glaswegians hard as landlords raise prices disproportionately compared to the rise in incomes.

“I’ve been speaking to members of Living Rent, who have done a fantastic job of bringing these issues to the fore, from all corners of the city who are struggling to rent decent, affordable homes.

“To end up with a study into rent controls for some but not for others would simply not go far enough.

“With the shortage of affordable homes in the city continuing, we cannot afford to allow the private rented sector to continue this way.

“This would be a modest step towards getting tenants a better deal, but coupled with real action, alongside the newly formed tenant’s union, we could see real benefits for people across the city.

“We support the development of more social housing both in Glasgow and across Scotland, as well as efforts to bring private rental properties into shared management through initiatives such as cooperative groups.

“The implementation of a land value tax would also be something which we would back in order to free up land for fresh housing developments across the city.”

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