The death of Right to Buy?
After more than 30 years, another part of the UK has confirmed it is to scrap the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme.
Following Scotland no longer offering the scheme from 1st August, Wales will now follow suit within the next 12 months.
The policy introduced by the Thatcher government in 1980 led to 138,423 homes being bought under it by council and housing association tenants; which the Labour party has stated accounts for around 45% of the social housing stock or a reduction of 138,000 homes.
Noting that some may view its scrapping as stifling social mobility, Carl Sargeant, Communities Cabinet Secretary of Wales, highlights the positive impact a movement away from the private rental sector may have, which an estimated 40% of RTB properties end up in.
“Not everyone can take advantage of the private housing markets and many families, including the vulnerable, depend on us to provide a safe, secure and affordable home.”
The Welsh cabinet secretary acknowledges the importance of the type of homes built in order to meet future demands, as well as those at present. In addition to outlining his priority of ensuring the Welsh population “have a decent place to call home”, Sargeant also highlights the plans running alongside the end of the scheme so housing stock is not reduced.
“We are investing up to £290 million in a second phase of the shared equity loan scheme, which will aim to support the construction of more than 6,000 additional new homes by 2021, significantly boosting Wales’ building industry and making home ownership achievable for thousands more families.”
What are your thoughts on the Right to Buy scheme – has it been positive or negative for us as a nation? Would you like to see it being scrapped all together, or should consumers be encouraged to take up the opportunity? Does the scheme work as it is, or can it be changed in some way?