In the wake of an unabated housing crisis and soaring rents, working class sections in Austria have intensified their campaign demanding long-term rent freeze and reforms in the country’s rental law. In its petition, the Communist Party of Austria (KPO) demanded the Austrian People’s Party (OVP)-Greens-led federal government to freeze rents at the current levels until 2029. The Communist Youth of Austria (KJO) endorsed this demand. Groups including the Austrian Tenants’ Association and the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB) have also called for a freeze on rents. According to reports, persistently high inflation and a rising Consumer Price Index (CPI) led to a continuous increase in rental prices across the country.
Scotland is world famous for its breathtaking beauty, rich history, and impossibly cute cows. It’s also known for its community spirit, evidenced by a new government initiative: a combined rent freeze and eviction moratorium, designed to help people through the current cost of living crisis. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the legislation is a response to the “humanitarian emergency” caused by skyrocketing energy prices, among other factors, Sky News reports. The program will remain in effect until at least March 31, 2023. “This Program for Government is published in the context of the most severe cost crisis in many of our lifetimes. It is a crisis pushing millions into poverty and poses a genuine danger, not just to livelihoods, but to lives,” Sturgeon said in a press release.
On 6 September 2022, as part of their new programme for government, the Scottish Government announced a rent freeze and eviction ban effective immediately until March 2023. Further clarity has yet to be brought in around key questions such as whether the freeze will apply retroactively, whether purpose-built student accommodation will be part of it, how it’ll impact tenants who pay rent and energy bills together, or how it will be implemented. Crucially, we’re concerned that this freeze applies primarily to private tenants as social housing tenants’ rent is increased once a year, on the 1 April, missing out many tenants who are struggling. So we’ve run you through the headline victory and our many unanswered questions. But how did we get there?