Edinburgh is on track to become the first Council in Scotland not to evict tenants for bedroom tax arrears, as a key committee today agreed to examine further a Green proposal to adopt a “no evictions” stance.
The Green motion asked councillors to agree that no tenants would be evicted as a result of rent arrears coming from the UK Government’s bedroom tax – housing benefit penalties for people “under-occupying” homes.
Green Group Convenor Cllr Steve Burgess said:
“I’m disappointed the Council didn’t decide today on a no-eviction policy for bedroom tax arrears because this would have removed a looming shadow over many of our tenants. But at least our proposal is now officially on the table and we’re going to look at it again in six weeks time.
“My proposal ensures that collecting the rent which pays for services would remain a priority. The council would still be able to pursue tenants through he courts for all arrears, including for bedroom tax. It’s only that we wouldn’t seek to make people homeless if they are genuinely in trouble paying the bedroom tax.
“We have a choice, do we protect ourtenants against this odious measure from the UK Government or will we be complicit in making people homeless?
“I’m confident that that in six weeks time Councillors from all parties will have had time to consider and agree with us on this.”
Motion as amended agreed at Corporate Policy & Strategy Committee on 26 February 2013 reads;
‘Committee shares the concerns about the introduction of the “Bedroom Tax” and agreed to continue the motion for one cycle (16 April) and requests a report on the implication for the council’s Housing Revenue Account and housing service by adopting a “No Eviction” policy as requested by the motion….