As 2016 comes to a close it's hard to deny that this year has been one of turbulence, upheaval and instability. For those of us living in privately rented housing, lack of stability, uncertainty and upheaval can be all too close to home.
Living Rent has achieved a lot over its short time, and now we are going to hire a staff member to support and expand our work.
What we’ve already made happen in 2016 is pretty damn good. The new laws we’ve fought for and won will mean that in 2017:
Landlords can no longer evict their tenants with no reason; Tenants aren’t trapped into long leases when their circumstances change; Councils will have the power to implement rent controls for the first time in decades.
On Saturday 8th October Living Rent - Scotland’s private tenants’ union – held its first AGM. Gathered in the Mary Barbour suite of Govan’s Pearce Institute, the link to the rent strikes of Glasgow’s past was an echo throughout the day. In stories of tenants resisting evictions in Bristol; in lively discussions about building branches across Scotland, and in the banner on the far wall which read: "Stability – check; Flexibility – check; Rent controls… let’s finish the job" – a sentiment I think Mary Barbour and her army of tenants could get behind.
Following our launch as Scotland's Tenants Union earlier this year, Living Rent is excited to announce our inaugural conference and AGM which will take place at the Pearce institute on the 8th of October from 12:30- 17:00 in the aptly named 'Mary Barbour Suite'.
The afternoon will be an opportunity to discuss current issues in housing, and decide the priorities for Living Rent over the coming year.
Our campaign's call for rent controls and secure, affordable housing has resonated across the political spectrum, and the campaign has received the backing of the youth wings of the SNP, Labour, Greens, and RISE.
It is clear that, for many young people in Scotland, rent controls are absolutely necessary to ensuring they have the housing they deserve, and we are calling on all parties to ensure that the next Scottish Parliament makes this a reality.
Here, leaders of the four political party youth wings who have backed the campaign outline why.
Delegates at the SNP Spring Conference have today voted overwhelmingly to support a resolution committing the party to supporting the introduction of national rent controls for all tenants.