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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Another part of the UK is set to scrap Right To Buy

Wales has confirmed that it is to scrap the former flagship Thatcherite policy of Right To Buy.

Since 1980, 138,423 homes have been bought by council and housing association tenants under Right To Buy and associated schemes; the Labour party says this constitutes around 45 per cent of the principality’s social housing stock.

It is estimated that some 40 per cent of RTB properties sold in Wales have directly or indirectly ended up in the private rental sector.

Scotland scrapped Right To Buy on August 1 and now Wales says it will introduce similar legislation within the next 12 months.

“Plans to end Right To Buy are accompanied by action to help home ownership through schemes such as Help To Buy, which do not reduce the social housing stock” explains Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Government’s communities cabinet secretary.

“We are investing up to £290m 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” he says.

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    'Right to Buy' was an excellent idea but the income was not 'ring fenced' to use the income to build more Council Houses for rent. Instead it just went into the general coffers. Once again the implementation of basic Government legislation not being thought through.

    Jon  Tarrey

    It wasn't really, though, was it? It was a shameless vote-winner with no long-term goal. By selling off the council houses, and not replacing them adequately, Right to Buy helped to set in motion the total car crash of a housing industry that we have today. Low levels of council/social housing, a lack of affordable homes, a PRS that is bursting at the seams, high rents, high house prices and buy-to-let landlords hoovering up the stock.

    How many of those council homes bought under Right to Buy have ended up in the hands of greedy buy-to-let owners who then charge a fortune in rent? It's absurd. No, it's beyond absurd. Right to Buy was a disaster, an absolute disaster. A few people might have benefited from it, but a lot were left worse off because of it. That doesn't sound like a success to me.

    It should have been scrapped years ago, rather than being expanded or extended. It's not going to help ease the housing crisis, is it? It's only going to make things worse. Scotland and Wales have seen sense, can England now do the same? May, as expected, hasn't lived up to her promise to be the government "for the many not the few", but actually taking some decisive action on housing would be a start.

    If the shocking figures about home ownership coming out in recent days aren't enough to spur the government into action, nothing will be. I can't even remember the new Housing Minister's name - oh, that's right, Gavin Barwell - but the fact he has so little sway, power or influence means housing will be kept on the backburner again as billions is wasted on things like HS2, Hinckley Point, Trident renewal and poxy Garden Bridges. Post-industrial towns and communities will continue to be left behind, the North will continue to be neglected in favour of London and the South East, house prices and rents will continue to rise beyond all reason, and the reframing of affordable homes to mean £400,000 or more will continue apace.

    There's plenty of talk about the housing crisis and what must be done, but very little action. That cross-party HoL report the other day made some decent recommendations - could these now be enacted?

     
  • Fake Agent

    Too right as well. Now extend to England, please. It might have been a good idea in the first place, but its implementation was disastrously handled and its legacy has been beyond awful. It's one of the primary reasons as to why are housing crisis is so bad now.

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