11 August 2017 | Comment | Article by Clare Folland-Nickels
Cardiff County Council’s application to suspend the right to buy for 5 years was approved by the Welsh Government on 28 July 2017.
The Right to Buy allows eligible social housing tenants to buy their council or housing association property at a discount.
Lynda Thorne, Cardiff’s cabinet member for housing has indicated that around 8,300 people are on the waiting list for social housing. Since the Right to Buy was introduced social housing stock has reduced significantly. Lynda Thorne goes on to indicate that in 1985 the Council had approximately 23000 properties but largely due to the right to buy the figure has been reduced so the current stock is in the region of 13400.
Homelessness is a significant issue in the UK and Crisis indicates that it forecasts a jump by 76% of homelessness within the next 10 years. It is therefore important that social housing stock is available. Cardiff County Council feel that the current move to suspend the right to buy across Cardiff will have an important role in ensuring that the social housing stock does not decrease further and ensure social housing is available for those who need it.
The intention is that the Right to Buy across the whole of Wales will be abolished. The Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill was introduced on 13 March 2017. The Bill has moved a further step forward as the assembly voted to agree the general principles of the Bill on 18 July 2017. Following this agreement on the general principles of the Bill a consultation on the information document, to be issued by social landlords to their tenants when the Bill becomes law, was launched on 19 July. This consultation ends on 13 September 2017.