26th September 2012
SIC supports Shetland’s MSP, as he highlights the challenges facing local housing tenants
SIC Convener Malcolm Bell has given his backing to MSP Tavish Scott, who has again highlighted the potential impact on tenants of the loss of the Housing Support Grant at a debate in Holyrood.
The Grant is currently worth £760,000 to the SIC, but could be abolished from April 2013 should the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Bill pass without amendment. This could in effect leave the isles’ 1,800 social housing tenants to shoulder the burden of the £41 million housing debt, and facing significant rent increases.
Historically, the grant was paid to a number of Scottish local authorities, but over the years various debt reduction measures and stock transfers have meant that the Shetland Islands Council has been left as the only remaining recipient.
Convener Malcolm Bell: “Shetland Islands Council has made its case to the Local Government Committee on this subject, and welcomes Mr. Scott’s help in highlighting the position for Shetland’s tenants in the event that some sort of transitional agreement is not forthcoming. In the meantime, officers and members will continue to have a dialogue with the Scottish Government to try to reach an acceptable settlement that protects our tenants from unacceptable rent increases.”