Our open letter to Kevin Stewart regarding Covid-19 hygeine measures and our report on the lack of compliance among social landlords in Scotland.
Dear Kevin Stewart,
Please find attached an open letter to you as Housing Minister, and a dossier of evidence in support of what we are asking. The effects of the absence of regulation to ensure Covid-19 hygiene measures and information to secure physical distancing are mandated are illustrated in our report from tenants in RSLs across the country.
As we are all acutely aware surfaces, particularly hard metal surfaces such as those seen in lifts in multistorey blocks, and buzzer/intercomm systems, handrails and bin chutes are a vector for the transmission of the virus. Equally there is no more dangerous a space than an enclosed space with lots of people densely packed together, such as a lift. Without information campaigns many tenants will not intuit the need for physical distancing measures. RSLs have a duty of care to their tenants and our evidence has shown a very mixed response with some landlords behaving dangerously negligently, while others have stepped up to the challenge to a degree, and we draw on their leadership as our suggestions for a common regulatory standard. I'm sure like us you would agree with the need to maintain appropriate levels of communal hygiene across schemes and blocks and physical distancing is important and urgent.
Our open letter to you was written in light of our findings and our dossier of evidence demonstrates the unsafe conditions in which many tenants are currently forced to live in.
This is an urgent matter and I hope to hear back from you very soon. A common regulatory standard for hygiene in RSL housing blocs which protects staff, is fair to tenants and provides information to tenants on how to physically distance cannot wait, and we look forward to a constructive dialogue.
Chair of Living Rent, Scotland's Tenants' Union
^Link to Dossier.