A significant new Bill abolishing the Right to Buy is expected to be introduced in the National Assembly for Wales today.
The Bill will provide for the Right to Buy, the Preserved Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire for tenants of local authorities and registered social landlords to be abolished after a period of at least one year following Royal Assent.
The Bill supports the Welsh Government’s wider aims of a more prosperous and fairer Wales.
It will help to tackle poverty by protecting the stock of social housing from further reduction, ensuring it is available to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people who are unable to take advantage of the housing market to buy or rent a home.
To encourage the development of new social housing, the Bill, if passed by the Assembly, will provide that the Right to Buy and Right to Acquire will end for new homes two months after Royal Assent.
This 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.
Ahead of the Bill’s introduction, 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.
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 takes place. 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.
We have set an ambitious target of creating 20,000 affordable homes in this term of government. Alongside social housing this will include schemes such as Help to Buy and Rent to Own to enable people on modest incomes to own their own homes.
We are supporting low cost home ownership and we are expanding the social housing stock. Abolishing the Right to Buy will complement these other actions we are taking in order to support people in housing need.
The Welsh Government has already made some moves to abolish the policy in certain council areas, Right to Buy was suspended for five years in Flintshire in February .