ERC criticised for eviction record

East Renfrewshire council has been criticised by a leading homelessness charity for failing to reduce council house evictions.

Analysis by Shelter Scotland suggests evictions increased by 20 per cent in the last four years, and doubled from six to 12 in the last year.

ERC is one of only five local authority landlords not to show reductions during the last four years.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, told The Extra: “Although from a very low start point, it’s disappointing that over the last four years East Renfrewshire has failed to reduce its eviction levels.

“We have been campaigning to make eviction the last resort for social landlords but these figures show the council has not yet made all the necessary improvements and are falling behind the progress made by other local authorities across Scotland.

“Other councils with comparatively low eviction levels four years ago have still been able to further reduce evictions in the last four years.

“We urge East Renfrewshire council to revisit its policies and practices and do all it can to reduce evictions and arrears at the same time”.

A council spokesman defended ERC’s record: “We will only evict after exhausting every option open to us and we provide a great deal of support to tenants who are facing difficulties.

“But, we are clear that where tenants do not take the options available to them and wilfully ignore all of the help offered we will, as a last resort, move to eviction.

“We will also move to eviction stage where a tenant has been convicted of dealing drugs form their home — that’s about protecting communities from drugs actively being dealt from one of our properties”.