Joe has called upon Housing Minister Margaret Burgess to work with Scottish Labour to deliver fair rents for people in Cunninghame South as new figures show that rent levels have increased all over Scotland.
New figures released by letting agents Your Move show that the average rent in Scotland has increased by nearly 3% in the last year.
The average Scottish rent now stands at £537 a month – more than the weekly median wage in Scotland.
Previous analysis has shown that the number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector.
Nearly half of private renters in Scotland are families.
Earlier this year, Joe supported Scottish Labour’s proposals for a fair rent cap in the Housing (Scotland) Act to cap rent rises to stop tenants being ripped off by landlords.
The proposal was blocked at the time by Margaret Burgess as Housing Minister.
“These new figures are really worrying, times are hard enough for families in Cunninghame South with rising energy bills and spiralling childcare costs, the last thing we need is to see rents rise to unaffordable levels.
“Scotland is in the midst of a housing crisis. People, and young people in particular, are struggling to get on the housing ladder whilst there simply isn’t enough social housing to meet our needs. People are essentially being forced into the private rented sector and the number of homes in the private rented sector living in poverty has more than doubled in a decade to over 100,000, with one in four Scots who live in poverty living in the private rented sector. There is no doubt that we need to invest and build new social housing but we must also make the private rented sector work for the people who do need to use it, particularly those with families and those on low pay.
“It was a missed opportunity for Margaret Burgess to oppose Scottish Labour’s proposals to make rents in Scotland fair. It would have provided some relief and security to the 6000 private renters who live throughout North Ayrshire. As the SNP’s Housing Minister I would now call on her to work with us to deliver fair rents for people in our constituency so that they can have a home, not just a roof over their heads.”