An open letter from Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister

Information to tenants

Kevin Stewart MSP

13 July 2020

Earlier this week, Housing Minister Kevin Steward penned an open letter to tenants providing information and advice on Scotland’s Route Map for moving out of the coronavirus crisis. Mr Stewart said landlords are now beginning to plan for resuming services following the guidance available, and taking account of local circumstances.

The letter advised: “Since the start of the pandemic, social housing landlords have been prioritising repairs and have been focusing on providing emergency repairs and other essential services. As we move forward, landlords are now starting to plan how they can safely resume routine repairs and planned maintenance work.

“This includes programmes such as window, bathroom and kitchen replacement, adaptations and installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms.”

While Mr Stewart requested that tenants continue to report any repairs as normal, he also called for patience as landlords begin to work through any backlogs.

“Your landlord… will have processes in place to ensure this can happen safely and in line with the current public health guidance,” he added.

The letter also outlines a range of measures which have been put in place to safeguard residents during the crisis; from the emergency law which protect tenants from eviction to increased access to support for victims of domestic abuse.

Mr Stewart said: “During this crisis I have been particularly impressed at how people have come together to support each other and I greatly appreciate the inspiring community effort that we’ve seen up and down the country.

“I want to thank every single individual, organisation and volunteer who has responded to the pandemic and helped to keep people safe, connected, and well and every social landlord in Scotland who has been working tirelessly to maintain and provide essential and wider community services in these challenging times.

“The safety, security and wellbeing of all social housing tenants is a key priority for both the Scottish Government and social landlords, and we have been working closely together to address the challenges that have emerged in the social housing sector as the weeks and months have progressed.”