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Welsh government introduces bill to abolish Right to Buy in Wales

Council tenants in Wales will no longer be offered the right to purchase their council homes if the Welsh government gets its way as the country seeks to safeguard its social housing stock.

The policy, which was initially announced by the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones last year, will begin its journey through the Welsh assembly on Monday.

To remain compliant with human rights legislation, the Welsh Government will give tenants at least a year to exercise their rights to buy their homes under the old rules after the bill becomes law.

Since the scheme was introduced in 1980, 139,000 council and housing association homes have been sold - resulting in a 45% reduction in housing stock.

Councils will also still be permitted to sell housing stock once the abolition comes into force, but only on a voluntary basis and at the market rate without the discounts that were seen under the compulsory Right to Buy scheme.

Many buy-to-let landlords specialise in acquiring and renting out ex-local authority housing as they typically offer above average rental returns. However, Matthew Dicks, director of the Chartered Institute of Housing, is among those that believe Wales must now safeguard its social housing stock.

He said: “We have a huge shortage of affordable housing in Wales and CIH Cymru supports any measure that will stop the further loss of social housing stock which is what this bill intends to do.” 

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