Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that the right of Scottish tenants to buy their council properties at a discount rate is to be abolished.
During a visit to a housing association in Glasgow, Sturgeon confirmed that the Scottish government will be scrapping the Right to Buy scheme introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1980.
The scheme has been abolished for new council tenants already but under these new government proposals it will be completely removed by 2017.
Right to Buy scrapped to safeguard social housing
Sturgeon stated that the aim of abolishing right to buy is to “safeguard social housing stock for future generations”.
Sturgeon added “The Scottish Government is doing everything possible to maximise our investment in housing and deliver our target of 30,000 new affordable homes over the lifetime of this parliament. “We can no longer afford to see badly needed homes lost to the social sector.”
The move is guaranteed to split opinion though with over 455,000 tenants having bought their council properties since right to buy was launched. Scottish Conservative Party leader Annabelle Goldie has already criticised the abolition of right to buy, especially on the back of the recent Government flagship launch of the Help to Buy scheme in England and Wales.
Goldie said: “By offering a tenant the right to buy, you did two things; you first of all introduced a freedom to the individual to make a choice about how they wanted to live, and secondly you stopped them being trapped [in council housing schemes] – because that is exactly what they were.”
The Scottish Federation of Housing has welcomed the abolishment claiming “Right to buy has had its day and has no place in 21st century Scotland”.