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Wales scraps Right-To-Buy

Friday 24 March 2017

The Welsh Government has introduced a Bill to abolish the Right-To-Buy scheme, which allows social housing tenants the opportunity to purchase their home at a massively discounted price.

The introduction of the right-to-buy policy in 1981 has led to Wales losing more than 138,000 of its social housing stock.

Scotland ditched the scheme in July 2016 after it was blamed as the cause of the shortage of housing in the social rental sectorThe UK government however has taken an alternative approach, and instead announced plans to extend the policy to even more homes.

The key purposes of the Bill are to scrap Right to Buy, the Preserved Right to Buy and eventually, the Right to Acquire.

Welsh Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant says:

“Our social housing is a valuable resource, but it is under considerable pressure. The size of the stock has declined significantly since 1980 when the Right to Buy was introduced. This has resulted in people in housing need, many of whom are vulnerable, waiting longer to access a home they can afford.

“The Bill supports the Welsh Government’s wider aims of a more prosperous and fairer Wales, helping to tackle poverty by protecting our stock of social housing from further reduction. I recognise the proposal affects existing tenants and we will ensure tenants are made aware of the effect of the bill in good time before abolition. The Bill will require the Welsh Government to publish information, which social landlords in turn must provide to every affected tenant, within two months of the bill receiving Royal Assent.”

The Welsh Government have advised that there will be at least a one-year notice period after Royal Assent before the abolition of these rights. And in respect of new-supply social housing, the rights will end two months after Royal Assent.

The Bill is currently at Stage 1 where the Committee has issued a call for evidence, which closes on Friday 28 April.