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21 May, 2020 Open access

MSPs unanimously pass second Coronavirus Bill that includes measures giving Scottish Ministers more time to report on proposed changes to local connection homelessness rules

In addition, Coronavirus (No.2) Bill includes provision to enable a person with a student residential tenancy to terminate the accommodation agreement with their landlord

MSPs have agreed new measures that will give Scottish Ministers more time to report on proposed changes to local connection homelessness rules.

Passed yesterday in the Scottish Parliament, the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill - which makes provisions to supplement those in the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 - includes provision (at paragraph 4 of Schedule 3) to extend by six months the current 12-month time limit for Scottish Ministers to publish a statement on the circumstances and criteria for exercising powers to amend provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 so that local connection referrals between local authorities are suspended.

In addition, the Bill includes further housing-related provisions (at paragraphs 1 to 3 of Schedule 1) in response to the COVID-19 crisis that enable a person with a student residential tenancy to terminate the accommodation agreement with their landlord, and set out that notice must be in writing and be given with minimum notice periods.

Commenting on the passing of the Bill, that also includes measures on a broad range of policy areas including social security, community care home management and bankruptcy, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said -

‘Scotland remains in an unprecedented situation. This legislation provides time-limited measures that will further strengthen our ability to prioritise work tackling the coronavirus pandemic, and support those in Scotland facing real hardship as a result.

Whether it is taking action to safeguard the population’s health such as the measures relating to care homes, helping people in debt or students with accommodation costs,  we will continue to do all we can to help Scotland get through this most testing of times.

In a spirit of cooperation and consensus we have worked across parliament and with all parties as much as possible as we take these important steps to tackle the impact of this ongoing crisis.’

For more information, see MSPs support further emergency coronavirus legislation from gov.scot

Stop press (28 May 2020) - the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 has now been published.