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Welsh Bill to end Right to Buy

by: Heather Greig-Smith
  • 14/03/2017
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Welsh Bill to end Right to Buy
The Welsh Government has introduced a Bill to abolish Right to Buy.

The Bill would mean tenants of local authorities and registered social landlords would no longer have the automatic right to buy their homes. The abolition would come into general effect a year after Royal Assent.

However, if the Bill is passed by the Assembly, Right to Buy for new homes will end two months after Royal Assent is granted.

The Welsh Assembly government said it aims to protect its stock of social housing from further reduction, ensuring it is available for people who are unable to take advantage of the housing market to buy or rent a home.

It says the early curb on Right to Buy for new homes will help encourage social landlords to build new homes in the knowledge that they will not be at risk of being sold after only a relatively short period.

Communities secretary Carl Sargeant said: “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. The number of sales is equivalent to 45% of the social housing stock in 1981. This has resulted in people in housing need, many of whom are vulnerable, waiting longer to access a home they can afford.”

Sargeant said the Welsh Government will ensure tenants are made aware of the effect of the Bill in good time before abolition takes place.

He added that the Bill is one of several initiatives to try and increase affordable housing in Wales, including schemes such as Help to Buy and Rent to Own.

Councillor Dyfed Edwards, the Welsh Local Government Association spokesperson for housing, said: “At a time of acute shortages of social rented homes, and with many thousands of people currently on housing waiting lists, the proposal from the Welsh Government to abolish right to buy is a welcome step in tackling a growing problem in Wales.

“It is essential that people’s access is improved to good quality social rented housing in order to enhance people’s lives, and also to revitalise local communities”

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