Rent controls are essential to tackling housing emergency

We must support tenants through the cost of living crisis.

A national system of rent controls in the private sector is crucial to tackling the housing emergency, says Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, who has called for the Scottish Government to uphold and not retreat from its commitment.

Mr Harvie’s comments come ahead of a Scottish Labour debate on Scotland’s Housing Emergency and as the Scottish Greens have lodged a proposed amendment to recognise the importance of rent controls in tackling the emergency.

During his time as Minister for Tenants Rights, Mr Harvie introduced a Housing Bill that is still working its way through parliament and that will provide a national system of rent controls and enhanced rights for Scotland’s tenants.

Mr Harvie said: “One of the biggest drivers of the housing emergency is the eye-watering private sector rents that far too many people are being forced to pay.

“The market is broken, and needs fundamental change. That’s why, when the Scottish Greens were in government, we used emergency legislation to introduce a ground-breaking rent cap and protections that went far beyond anything that has happened in any other part of the UK. This protected thousands of households and families.

“Now we need to make permanent changes. What we really need is a national system of rent controls and protections that will allow tenants to feel more security and make a house a home. These are at the heart of the Housing Bill that I introduced and which is making its way through parliament.

“These policies must not be scaled back or watered down. It is vital that we use every power we have to support households and families on the frontline of the emergency.

“I hope that all parties will back our call today, to make sure that an effective system of rent control becomes a reality. Together, we can send a loud and clear message that our parliament supports tenants and that we will stand up to those who are trying to entrench a broken status quo.”