Fill out the consultation here!
Rents in social and public housing across Scotland have increased above inflation year on year. Since the pandemic started in March 2020, tenants have been hard hit by decreased income, pushed into rent arrears, and experienced reduced services. Some housing associations and councils have decided to freeze rents, showing it can be done. However, many social landlords are still asking tenants to bear the costs of the pandemic by again increasing rents in 2021. With many having healthy cash reserves due to reduced operations in 2020, this is again putting more stress on tenants.
Every year, social housing associations and councils consult tenants on proposed rent rises. Few actually listen to tenants' feedback and questions are often rigged from the start. Rent consultations never ask whether tenants want rents increased in the first place or even decreased. They are framed in such a way that tenants only have a minor say in how much more they are going to pay.
This year, Living Rent is running its own tenant-led consultation: we are asking social housing tenants to fill it out and have their say regarding rents and any other concerns they have with their landlords. In the middle of a pandemic, tenants must have a stronger voice and Living Rent tenants’ union is organising so that this voice is heard!