Rent freeze announced in programme for government

A PLAN to freeze the cost of renting a home has been announced by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Unveiling her government’s Programme for Government, 2022-23, the plan was announced as a response to the increased cost of living being experienced by many people – with fuel, food and energy prices all rising markedly. There is also to be a moratorium on people being evicted from their homes.

Said Ms Sturgeon, yesterday, here: “I can announce that we will shortly introduce emergency legislation to Parliament.

“The purpose of the emergency law will be two-fold.

“Firstly, it will aim to give people security about the roof over their heads this winter through a moratorium on evictions.

“Secondly, the legislation will include measures to deliver a rent freeze.

“The Scottish Government does not have the power to stop your energy bills soaring, but we can and will take action to ensure that your rent does not rise.

“By definition, these are temporary measures. But they will provide much-needed security for many during what will be a difficult winter.

“We envisage that both measures will remain in place until at least the end of March next year.

“And, crucially, I can confirm that we will time the emergency legislation to ensure – subject of course to Parliament’s agreement – that the practical effect of this statement is that rents are frozen from today.”

There was no explanation how the plan would be implemented.

Among other proposed pieces of legislation, the First Minister said: “I can announce that a Housing Bill in the coming year ahead will improve affordability for the longer-term, provide new and strengthened rights for tenants, and implement key policies on short-term lets and the prevention of homelessness.

“We will support more households to install energy-efficiency measures through continued investment in, and extended eligibility for, the Warmer Homes Scotland programme

“This will help lower energy costs, reduce energy use and deliver our climate change obligations.”

There is also to be “a £25 million Clyde Mission Decarbonisation Fund to support zero-emission heat projects and communal heating systems along the length of the [River] Clyde”.

The rent freeze proposal leads a Scottish Government story about its Programme for Government – here.

Pictured: Scottish Parliament building, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland