The Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced to the Welsh Assembly that the Right to Buy scheme is to be abolished in Wales.
He explained that the decision has been made in order to ‘ensure that social housing is available to those who need it, and who are unable to access accommodation or the private rented sector.’
In contrast, Right to Buy in England is being extended to tenants in the social rented sector, and there is talk of it being extended to the private rented sector.
Since the scheme was introduced in Wales in 1981, it is estimated that Wales has lost more than 138,000 of its social housing properties – a 45% reduction in stock. Research has revealed that many properties that were purchased originally under the right to buy scheme have ended up in the private rented sector, which generally demands a higher rental rate that social housing. The government are concerned that this is costing the public purse more in terms of higher housing benefit.
Despite the abolition of Right to Buy, the Welsh government are still committed to helping promote home ownership through schemes which do not reduce housing stock. There are planned investments of over £290m in a shared equity loan scheme, designed to support the construction of more than 6,000 new homes by 2021, boosting the Welsh building industry and helping put home ownership in the reach of many.
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