Aberdeenshire Council’s progress to reduce evictions showed signs of improvement last year but its performance over the last four years is well behind the majority of Scotland’s social landlords, new analysis by Shelter Scotland shows.
Set against a Scotland-wide picture of a 46% overall reduction in evictions by social landlords and a cut in the number of tenants in arrears, the housing and homelessness charity says Aberdeenshire Council needs to redouble its efforts and make better progress to reduce evictions in the Shire.
Despite a small reduction last year – there were 37 evictions compared to 41 in 2009/10 - Aberdeenshire Council is one of only five councils to have failed to make any real impact on eviction levels over the last four years.
In 2007/2008, there were 36 evictions.
Launching its 4th annual report on social evictions, Shelter Scotland says that while the national picture is highly encouraging, with 21 of Scotland’s 26 local authority landlords showing reductions over the last four years, there is big room for improvement in those failing to reduce evictions.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, says:
“While we recognise that last year saw a marginal reduction in evictions and arrears, Aberdeenshire Council is failing to make any meaningful impact on its use of eviction for rent arrears.
“We have been campaigning to make eviction the last resort for social landlords but these figures show the council has not yet made all the necessary improvements and is falling behind the progress made by other local authorities across Scotland.
“We urge Aberdeenshire Council to revisit its policies and practices and do all it can to reduce evictions even further.”
Commenting on the national picture on evictions and arrears, Graeme Brown said:
”At a time when cuts are hitting home and more people are struggling with household budgets, our analysis of the last four years shows that evictions have nearly halved across Scotland.
“This shows that by working closely with tenants to find a solution, social landlords can reduce arrears and ensure eviction truly is a last resort,” the Director of Shelter Scotland added.