Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, today lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament calling for financial support for the 200 tenants of Lorne Street in Leith who face being evicted from their homes by the charity that owns their flats.
The Agnes Hunter Trust wants to sell the properties, saying that maintenance costs are too high. They also said at the council Petitions Committee last week that their main purpose is not to be social landlords but to give small grants to various causes.
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Alison Johnstone MSP said: “The residents of Lorne Street face an uncertain future, and understandably feel traumatised as they had thought their tenancies were secure. It’s important we send a strong message of support to them.
“While it is welcome that the Trust has agreed a moratorium on evictions until July, it must extend this if needed. The residents want security of tenure, and they must have time to work on that.
“I urge the Scottish Government to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to provide financial assistance to the residents to ensure a bright future for the community of Lorne Street.”
The full text of Alison’s motion reads as follows:
That the Parliament understands that over 200 tenants in Lorne Street in Leith are facing eviction by the Agnes Hunter Trust, a charitable trust that owns over 100 flats in the street; strongly supports residents’ efforts to stay in their homes, organised through the Lorne Community Association, and create a housing cooperative or an alternative solution that provides them with security of tenure in their current homes; welcomes the Agnes Hunter Trust’s extension of the moratorium on evictions until 1 July 2016; calls on the Agnes Hunter Trust to further extend the stay on evictions should this be needed and support residents’ plans, and calls on the Scottish Government to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to provide every support and financial assistance it can to support the community of Lorne Street tenants.