The private rented sector has ballooned in recent years. It is now provides a home to 6000 families here in North Ayrshire. However, over the same period that the number of families privately renting has doubled poverty in the sector has trebled to around 30%. That's because of sky high rents.
Scottish Labour had a plan to control sky high rents but the SNP, led by Housing Minister and former local MSP Margaret Burgess, voted it down time and time again > http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/labour-holyrood-candidate-slams-snp-4866098
And the need to control private rents is summed up perfectly by the amount of housing benefit that private landlords are raking in.
As part of Joe's 'Home Sweet Home' campaign he exposed that in North Ayrshire private landlords are receiving over £10million per year in direct housing benefit (the figure would be much higher if the Council could track indirect housing benefit payments to private landlords). And one private landlord raked in £145,000 in Housing Benefit in one year.
Joe was pleased to stand up against this and take on the Scottish Association of Private Landlords....
Joe firmly believes that the way to make the private rented sector fairer and work for tenants is through rent controls. That's why he is proud to support the Living Rent campaign.
To signal this support he wrote a blog for the campaign last year > http://www.livingrent.org/2015/09/guest-blog-we-had-rent-controls-till-thatcher-scrapped-them-joe-cullinane/
And at the Council he lodged the following amendment to a motion on the private rented sector....
Unfortunately, the SNP Councillors, including their candidate for Cunninghame South, voted the amendment down.
Despite the SNP's opposition Joe will continue to support and campaign for a Living Rent.