Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Anti-social behaviour measures 'not far enough', says SFHA

The Scottish housing bill does not go far enough to tackle antisocial behaviour, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has said.

Ahead of the infrastructure and investment committee’s discussion of the proposed legislation today, the representative body said ministers were raising ‘unrealistic’ expectations about how the bill would tackle ‘the thoughtless actions of their neighbours’.

The housing bill, which was introduced to parliament in November, gives landlords the power to give short secure tenancies to tenants with a history of antisocial behaviour.

It also abolishes right to buy and creates a specialist housing tribunal to resolve disputes in the private rented sector.

Andy Young, SFHA policy and membership manager, said: ‘The housing bill is very well intentioned, but, while quite bold in places, does not go far enough in others…

‘The introduction of these measures alone is not a panacea to tackle antisocial behaviour. This will still require a multi-agency approach and a less congested court system, and there is a danger that the expectations of those tenants whose lives are blighted by the thoughtless actions of their neighbours will be raised to unrealistic levels by some of the language being used by the Scottish government.’

CIH Scotland also warned that the majority of serious anti-social behaviour cases would ‘continue to be difficult to resolve quickly and effectively’ even after the bill was passed.

The committee will take evidence from housing bodies including the SFHA, the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland and Shelter Scotland.

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