Leonard: Ban Winter Evictions

In a respectful discussion today, as MSPs braved the wintery conditions for First Minister's Questions, Richard Leonard called on Nicola Sturgeon to follow France’s lead and ban winter evictions, stating that ‘such a measure would simply save lives.’ Nicola Sturgeon responded by saying that the Scottish Government would consider such a measure.

This policy change has been proposed by the campaign group Living Rent, in emulation of the French law banning the eviction of all tenants between the 31st of October and the 31st of March - the trêve hivernale or winter truce. The law, introduced in 1954, also makes it illegal to cut off gas and electricity supplies during the winter truce period.

The Robin View:

Homelessness is the shame of this country, and the lack of reporting on this issue in Scotland highlighted by Leonard is particularly dangerous. A ban on winter evictions would not solve this problem but it would at least prevent its worst excesses. The Scottish Government should use its powers over housing with immediate effect.

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