SFHA calls for reduction in Right to Buy notice period
Published by SFHA for Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations in Housing and also in Communities
In response to the housing statistics released today (Tuesday 4 March) by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, which show an increase in Right to Buy applications and sales, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is calling on the Scottish Government to reduce the three year notice period proposed in the Housing (Scotland) Bill 2013.
Andy Young, Policy and Membership Manager at the SFHA, said:
“The SFHA is not surprised to see a spike in Right to Buy sales. The Housing (Scotland) Bill 2013, which is currently at Stage 1 of its passage through the Scottish Parliament, is proposing to end Right to Buy entitlements in Scotland in three years’ time and a rush to exercise that right does normally happen soon after the announcement of a policy to impose restrictions.
“We would urge the Scottish Government to reduce the three year notice period proposed in the Bill and set the date of Right to Buy abolition at one year from date of Royal Assent. This will strike a fair balance between giving reasonable notice to those wishing to exercise their right, and protecting the scarce resource that is Scotland’s social housing stock.”
The SFHA gave a cautious welcome to today’s figures which showed an increase in approvals for affordable housing.
David Stewart, SFHA Policy Manager, said:
“Any figure which shows an increase in approvals for social housing is welcome, and it is important to remember the role that housing associations and co-operatives, as the principal developers of new build affordable rented housing, have played here.
“While these figures are a step in the right direction, this is no time to be complacent. Waiting lists for affordable housing in Scotland are at 380,000 and we know that there is a difference between housing schemes being approved and the homes being completed and occupied.
“Whilst we welcomed last year’s increase in funding provided by the Scottish Government, more remains to be done. We applaud the work of our members and their partners in continuing to develop affordable housing in a challenging economic climate with welfare reform impacting on income, but there is a long way to go to meet housing need in Scotland.”
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2. The SFHA was established in 1976 and has around 116 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance. www.sfha.co.uk
3. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
4. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.