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Another part of the UK prepares to scrap Right To Buy

Wales is the latest part of the UK to formally scrap the policy which was once the flagship of Margaret Thatcher’s housing policy - Right To Buy.

The Welsh Government says that between its introduction in 1980 and early in 2016 - the latest figures available - some 138,423 homes in Wales have been bought by council and housing association tenants under Right To Buy and associated schemes; this constitutes around 45 per cent of the principality’s social housing stock.

The government says some 40 per cent of RTB properties sold in Wales have directly or indirectly ended up in the private rental sector.

The controversial policy, which allows local authority and some housing association tenants to buy their homes with discounts of up to £100,000, has been scrapped by the Scottish Government but remains policy for the Theresa May-led Westminster government that has jurisdiction over the issue in England.

A Bill now going through the Welsh Parliament will ultimately remove the rights of tenants to buy anywhere in that country, probably becoming operational within a year.

Welsh Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant says: “The size of the [social housing] stock has declined significantly since 1980 when the Right to Buy was introduced. This has resulted in people in housing need, many of whom are vulnerable, waiting longer to access a home they can afford.

“The Bill supports the Welsh Government’s wider aims of a more prosperous and fairer Wales, helping to tackle poverty by protecting our stock of social housing from further reduction. I recognise the proposal affects existing tenants and we will ensure tenants are made aware of the effect of the bill in good time before abolition. The Bill will require the Welsh Government to publish information, which social landlords in turn must provide to every affected tenant, within two months of the bill receiving Royal Assent” he adds.

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