Housing (Scotland) Bill Introduced
13 January 2010
A new Housing Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament today which could have far reaching consequences for the social housing sector. The Housing (Scotland) Bill would bring an end to the right-to-buy legislation brought in in the 1980’s by Margaret Thatcher’s government. This legislation allows tenants of ‘social landlords’, local authorities and housing associations, to buy their homes at a discounted rate. The policy was very popular at the time but it has meant that a great deal of homes have been sold off without being replaced. This has lead to a shortage of good quality social housing stock.
The SNP claims that 500,000 homes have been sold off in this way in Scotland and that abolishing the right to buy will lead to the retention of 10,000 to 18,000 homes which would otherwise have been sold between 2012 and 2022. They argue that the fact that better quality social housing stock is likely to be bought up using right-to-buy has discouraged social landlords from investing in it.
The legislation, if enacted, will only affect new tenants. Existing social tenants may already have rights under the right-to-buy legislation and these will not be affected.
If you are thinking of buying your home under right-to-buy legislation, please contact our Brian Inkster who will be able to guide you through the process.