Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Right to buy act becomes law

An act that will ditch the right to buy for new social housing tenants in Scotland has become law.

The Housing (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament last month, and was granted royal assent on Friday.

It will abolish the right to buy for new social tenants and new social homes, as well as setting up a new Scottish housing regulator, and a charter for social housing.

The Scottish Government believes the act will keep 18,000 homes in the social rented sector over the next 10 years.

Housing and communities minister Alex Neil said: ‘This is a major milestone for social housing in Scotland. The housing act will ensure that social housing is protected for future generations, providing homes for the people and jobs in the Scottish economy.

‘It will give council and housing associations the confidence to invest in new housing without fearing they will have to sell those houses at a discounted price.’

The new rules on right to buy were welcomed by Shelter Scotland. However other elements of the act have been more controversial.

Housing associations have expressed concerns about the power of the new regulator, which will be able to transfer housing association assets to other providers without holding a statutory inquiry.

And the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has said that although the new charter is ‘well intentioned’, existing standards are adequate.

The act will come into force on 1 March 2011.

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