Council to suspend right to buy
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
Swansea City Council has proposed suspending the right to buy policy in an attempt to tackle an affordable housing shortage.
Under new powers given to the National Assembly for Wales, councils can choose to apply for a suspension of the scheme, with the final decision lying with the Welsh government.
A recent assessment found a significant shortage of affordable housing in Swansea. Over the past decade, more than 1,500 council houses have been sold under the right to buy scheme in the city.
The local authority says suspending right to buy for council tenants, and the similar scheme for housing association residents, called 'right to acquire', would help to stop a further reduction in the number of affordable homes.
Cllr June Burtonshaw, the council's cabinet member for place, said: "The lack of affordable housing is not just an issue in Swansea; it's an issue affecting many parts of the country at a time when changes to the welfare system have also taken place. This is why it's vital we do what we can now to help tackle the issue here in Swansea.
"Suspending the right to buy and the right to acquire makes a lot of sense because it will help reduce the decline in the number of council properties available to rent, help meet demand for social housing and at the same time support the Council's anti-poverty agenda."
If the council's cabinet approves the proposal next week, an application will be formally submitted to the Welsh government.