Right to buy's demise a step closer
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Scottish Government Bill seeks to 'lessen impact' of Coalition's welfare reforms
Calls to reduce the timescale for abolishing the right to buy have been answered by Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess.
Burgess announced during the stage 1 debate on the Housing (Scotland) Bill that the Scottish government will amend the notice period for right to buy from three to two years after the date the bill receives Royal Assent.
The minister said: "I am grateful to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment (ICI) Committee for its endorsement of the principles in the Housing Bill and for acknowledging that these measures will improve housing in the social, private rented and owner-occupied sectors.
“Increasing the supply of social housing is essential and that is why we want to end the right to buy.
“I have now taken on board the ICI Committee’s concerns that the proposed three-year timescale to abolish right to buy is too long. Going forward we will reduce the period to two years which will give tenants time to consider their options and find financial advice if they want to exercise their right to buy their home.
“These measures will protect up to 15,500 social houses from sale over a ten-year period and safeguard social housing stock for future generations.
“With 185,000 people on waiting lists for council and housing association houses, we can no longer afford to see the social sector lose out on badly needed homes.”
Other measures in the bill include:
* Establishing a new housing tribunal to consider private rented housing cases.
* Introducing regulation of letting agents.
* Strengthening the licencing regime for mobile homes sites with permanent residents.
* Giving local authorities new discretionary powers to tackle poor housing conditions in the private sector.