Welsh Labour Government Move to Protect Social Housing Stocks

Legislation aimed at abolishing ‘Right to Buy’ in Wrexham and across Wales has been proposed by the Welsh Government.

The Bill aims to protect the Welsh stock of social housing from further reduction, ensuring it is available to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people who are unable to take advantage of the housing market to buy or rent a home.

Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the proposed law and said: “Everyone deserves a stable and affordable home but unfortunately constituents in Wrexham regularly contact me with housing issues.”

“Given the pressures on social housing and the need to build more homes, the Welsh Labour Government is fulfilling a manifesto commitment by starting the process of ending Right to Buy.  With a further commitment of creating 20,000 new affordable homes by 2021, I am pleased the Welsh Government has moved to protect the existing housing stock, as well as the new builds.”

Wales’ supply of social housing is under considerable pressure.  Between 1981 and 2016, almost 140,000 local authority and housing association homes were sold under the Right to Buy and Right to Acquire.

Over 6,000 council homes have been sold in Wrexham since the creation of the county borough in 1996, with many ending up in the private rented sector.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, developing and protecting social housing is one of the best ways in which housing policy can be used to tackle poverty.

Stakeholders such as Shelter Cymru, local authorities and housing association have expressed their support for the Bill.  It is hoped the move will encourage social landlords to invest in new social housing safe in the knowledge it will not be at risk of having to be sold after a few years.