Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer has called on Renfrewshire Council to ensure that council tenants whose income is impacted because of coronavirus are not threatened with eviction or otherwise penalised.
People who are symptomatic and have travelled to affected regions such as Italy, where around 500 people are thought to have died from the virus, have been advised to self-isolate and Ross has raised concerns that this will potentially hit people in precarious employment, such as those on zero hours contracts, hardest.
Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland, said: “For those on zero hours contracts, and many who are stuck in the gig economy, taking the decision to self-isolate in the face of this virus will likely mean an immediate loss of income.
“Scottish Greens have already called on the UK Government to ensure that those in precarious employment, private tenants, and mortgage payers are supported during this difficult time.
“It would provide considerable reassurance if Renfrewshire would confirm that social tenants will not be penalised and that no evictions will take place as a result of this most serious situation.
“I hope they can make this commitment immediately, to ensure that people follow medical advice to self-isolate without fear of it resulting in a possible eviction due to rent arrears.”
A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson, said: “If any council tenant has received medical advice to self isolate, we would advise them to contact their local housing officer to make them aware as early as possible.
“Working on a case-by-case basis, we will discuss with them the support we can offer and be sympathetic to their situation wherever possible.”
Tenants do not have to visit the council to pay their rent if they are self isolating. This can be done online via MyAccount – www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/