New legislation added to Scottish Housing Bill

New legislation which aims to keep people in their homes and help prevent homelessness has been published.

The Scottish Housing Bill will introduce an ‘ask and act’ duty on social landlords and bodies, such as health boards and the police, to ask about a person’s housing situation and act to avoid them becoming homeless wherever possible.

It also reforms provision for people threatened with homelessness up to six months ahead and includes provisions for tenants experiencing domestic abuse.

Housing Minister Paul McLennan and Tenants’ Rights Minister Patrick Harvie will lead the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

McLennan said: “Early action, through the kinds of measures included in the Housing Bill, results in fewer people reaching the point of housing crisis.

He added that it means people facing homelessness will have "more choice and control over where they live."

The Bill will outline proposals for a New Deal for Tenants, a key part of the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party.

Proposals include long term rent controls for private tenancies, new rights to keep pets, decorate rented homes and stronger protection against eviction. 

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