14 January 2010

Proposed Reform to the ‘Right to Buy’ for New Tenants

The Scottish Government has published a new Housing Bill, which among other proposals, intends to introduce a restriction on the rights of new social rented sector tenants to buy their home from their social landlord.

Murrayburn

The restriction on the 'Right to Buy' is intended to help address the significant shortage of affordable rented accommodation in Scotland, with the Scottish Government estimating that the proposed change will see up to 18,000 homes being retained within the social rented sector in Scotland over the next 10 years.

Responding to the publication of the Housing (Scotland) Bill, David Gardner, CHAI Project Executive, said:  "The Edinburgh Housing Advice Partnership welcomes the proposed restriction on the rights of new tenants in the social rented sector to purchase their homes.  There is considerable pressure on the available social rented sector in Edinburgh, and we need to see greater access to good quality, affordable accommodation.  Just last month the Edinburgh Housing Advice and Homelessness Network launched a revised Housing Advice Strategy to take the City into 2012, and which recognised that Edinburgh is facing an acute shortage of affordable housing with demand far outweighing supply.  The announced Government proposals will go some way to ensuring that the social rented sector does not continue to haemorrhage good quality housing, while the demand for it grows unchecked."

The proposed restrictions on 'Right to Buy' will apply only to people taking up Scottish Secure Tenancies for the first time, and to those returning to Scottish Secure Tenancies after a break.  The proposed legislation does not affect the 'Right to Buy' of current Scottish Secure Tenants, and does not take effect until the proposed Bill has been enacted and implemented.

Anyone who is unsure about how this may affect them, or who wishes to discuss their housing options, can arrange to speak to an EHAP Housing Adviser by phoning EHAP on 0845 302 4607, or by completing the online contact form.

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