By Fiona Gardner and Lauren Redpath
Shelter Scotland’s latest report has warned that children are the worst affected by eviction when families fail to keep up with rent payments.
The report, “Eviction of children and families: The Impact and the Alternatives” highlights the devastating effect that eviction can have on children, as it often results in families being left with no choice but to take up temporary accomodation in a different area, leading to the upheaval of changing schools.
The findings show that approximately 2000 children in Scotland were left facing homelessness because of eviction in 2007/08, at an estimated total of £11 million.
The Scottish Government and social landlords are being urged to only use eviction as the last resort.
Questions have also arisen as to whether eviction should be allowed on the grounds of rent arrears and Shelter Scotland told Edinburgh Napier News that Stirling Council has already banned eviction when it concerns rent arrears.
Jessie Crawford, author of the report and children’s service policy and practice co-ordinator at Shelter Scotland says families should seek help as soon as they begin to struggle with keeping up with rent payments.
The charity are also calling for a five-point plan which includes measures to deal with problems which can lead to rent arrears such as illness, unemployment and family break-downs.