Right to Buy scrapped in Scotland

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claims up to 15,000 social houses will be protected from sale over the next decade

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The Independent Online

The decision today to end Right to Buy will safeguard social housing stock for future generations, said Ms Sturgeon.

Previous reforms have already meant the right to buy is already unavailable to many social housing tenants in Scotland, although any social housing tenant who still has the right to buy will have a period of three years to exercise it..

"The Scottish Government is doing everything possible to maximise our investment in housing and deliver on our target of 30,000 new, affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament," said Ms Sturgeon. "But given the pressure on both the housing stock and budgets and with 400,000 people on waiting lists for social housing we can no longer afford to see badly needed homes lost to the social sector.

"More than 450,000 houses have already been sold through right to buy and although the policy has been restricted in recent years, its final abolition will safeguard an estimated 15,000 homes over the next decade."

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland said: "We welcome the news that this outdated policy is to be scrapped. Around half a million public sector homes have been sold off in Scotland since the policy was implemented. Meanwhile, 157,000 families and individuals are today stuck on council waiting lists for a home to call their own."

Alan Ferguson, Director ofthe Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, said: "At a time when the right to buy is being actively promoted down south, the Scottish Government is boldly demonstrating a very different approach.

“The councils, housing associations and tenants groups which overwhelmingly backed the abolition option in last year’s consultation did so because they believe the right to buy has outlived its usefulness at a time when we need to do all we can to maximise social housing supply. As an individual right it cannot be used strategically, and it is right that it should no longer play a part in Scotland’s housing policy.

“We recognise that tenants and landlords need to be given time to prepare for abolition, but feel that the period of three years after the Bill receives Royal Assent is longer than it needs to be. We will be keen to explore with other bodies whether there is a consensus on seeking to reduce this period during the Bill’s passage through Parliament."