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.
Rhiannon Spear, SNP Youth National Convenor
“Implementing rent controls is one of the most basic ways to bring down the cost of living and make housing more accessible and affordable. Now more than ever, during a time of austerity, it is important to protect young people and their access to safe, warm and comfortable housing.
This is increasingly relevant to young people. If you can no longer afford to live in your home or close to your place of education there is a problem. Rent controls offer a simple solution to this.”
Lyndsay Clelland, Scottish Young Labour Chair:
“The Living Rent campaign has made such a massive impact on Scottish politics, and quite rightly so - rent controls and fair deals for tenants need to be a priority for the next parliament. Young people are disproportionately affected by these issues; with a decline in social housing, young people in are majorly reliant on private lets with sky high rents, yet we are paid the lowest wages. Countless studies have shown that young people cannot afford full living costs whilst being in the PRS, and have to rely on food banks and benefits to survive. Landlords exploit young tenants on a daily basis, capitalising on our desperate need for housing near our work or place of education, our need for independence, and hoping we don't know our rights as tenants. As long as young people need a place to stay, without legislation, private rents will increase because landlords can get away with it.”
Lewis Akers and Megan McCulloch, RISE Youth Network Co-ordinators:
"At our conference, RISE backed the Living Rent Campaign because we believe that no one should be squeezed out of the housing market or pushed into debt. We support fines for landlords who rent out sub-standard accomomdation. We support safe, secure and affordable tenancies. And we are looking into a 'Landlord's Tax' which would see landlords pay into their communities instead of merely taking from them." - Lewis Akers
"Finding a flat while at university is an increasingly stressful and competitive process. Landlords exploit this by charging students high rents for sub-standard accommodation.
At a time where we’re having to decide between heating and eating, struggling to get by on our student loans, coping with the demands of and low-paid, precarious work, we need affordable and secure housing. Rent controls would deliver this." - Megan McCulloch
Ross Greer and Sarah Beattie-Smith, on behalf of Scottish Young Greens:
"Rent controls are vital to making Scotland a fairer place. More and more tenants are trapped in sub-standard, rip-off accommodation, with next to no hope of saving the money they need to lay down a deposit. The Scottish Greens are backing the Living Rent Campaign's call for rent controls because it is clear that if we want affordable, secure, safe, and energy efficient housing for everyone, the market just isn't going to deliver it."