Council defends record on evictions following charity criticism

editorial image

ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL have reacted to accusations by Homelessness charity Shelter that they are failing to reduce the number of evictions from council-owned property.

In a press release sent to the Times, the charity criticised the council for not reducing evictions far enough.

Director of Shelter Graeme Brown said: “While we recognise that last year saw a marginal reduction in evictions and arrears, Aberdeenshire Council is failing to make any meaningful impact on its use of eviction for rent arrears. We have been campaigning to make eviction the last resort but these figures show the council has not yet made all the necessary improvements. We urge Aberdeenshire Council to revisit its policies and practices and do all it can to reduce evictions even further.”

However, the council defended its record on evictions, saying that eviction was already a last resort.

Douglas Edwardson, head of housing said: “These figures for eviction must be looked at by seeing them in proportion to the total number of houses. Aberdeenshire is already at a low level of evictions, and criticising continued good performance as not being good enough is wrong.

“In Aberdeenshire we measure eviction figures by the number of eviction decrees granted by the Sheriff which are used. Other authorities measure evictions as being only where decrees are used and where properties are still occupied.

“Shelter is wrong to suggest that Aberdeenshire Council has been evicting people onto the street or making people homeless. Aberdeenshire Council has a low rate of eviction, and we are continuing to improve preventative and support services.”