Assembly Abolishes Right to Buy in Wales

Legislation has been passed by the National Assembly to abolish the Right to Buy housing policy in Wrexham and across Wales.

Introduced in March, the draft bill aims to protect the stock of social housing in Wales from further reduction, ensuring it is available long term to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for the people of Wales.

The Abolition of Right to Buy & Associated Rights (Wales) Bill will now go forward for Royal Assent to become law, with a ban expected to come into force before May 2021.

Wrexham Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths, voted in favour of the Bill and said: “Welsh Labour pledged to end Right to Buy at the 2016 Assembly election and has now delivered its manifesto commitment.”

“Since the policy’s inception in the 1980s, social housing stock has fallen by 45% across Wales.  Locally, over 6,000 council homes have been sold since the creation of Wrexham County Borough in 1996, with many ending up in the private rented sector.”

“Constituents regularly contact me with housing issues but ending Right to Buy will give local authorities and housing associations the confidence to invest in new developments.  It is a progressive move that will ease housing shortages, as well as safeguarding social housing for future generations.”

The Right to Buy has been a feature of social housing for many years in Wales and has resulted in the loss of a significant number of homes – more than 139,000 between 1981 and 2016.

Although sales of social housing have slowed in recent years, social housing stock is still being lost at a time of considerable housing supply pressure.  This has resulted in people in housing need, many of whom are vulnerable, waiting for longer to access a home they can afford.

Several local authorities in Wales, including Denbighshire and Flintshire, have already suspended Right to Buy under existing powers.