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Reactions to the end of the Right to Buy in Scotland across the Sector

This weekend (31 July) marks the end of the Right to Buy in Scotland. Read the reactions to the end of this landmark policy from around the sector.

SFHA and ALACHO: No more Right to Buy and “not a moment too soon”

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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) have welcomed the end of the Right to Buy policy in Scotland and said its demise came “not a moment too soon”.

Mary Taylor, SFHA Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted that all forms of the Right to Buy policy in Scotland have now come to an end and this hasn’t come a moment too soon. Right to Buy has had its day and has no place in modern Scotland.

“Although particular individuals have benefitted from the right to buy and at significant discounts, the sales have been at a loss to the greater public good. Half a million social rented homes have been lost over the three decades of this policy in Scotland, and very often the better stock in the more popular areas.

“The SFHA and its members have campaigned for the abolition of this right for years, and we appreciate the Scottish Parliament’s recognition in 2013 of the arguments which we put forward.

“By ending the Right to Buy, we will be able to preserve much needed social housing stock for rents affordable to people on low incomes.

“The SFHA highlighted the same arguments in the ‘Thatcher Room’ when it gave evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee in December 2015 on what lessons England could learn from Scotland’s move to end the Right to Buy.”

Commenting on the end of Right to Buy, Tony Cain, Policy Manager at ALACHO said:

“Ending the Right to Buy will allow social landlords to plan longer term, manage assets and income more effectively and most importantly to return the sector to growth for the first time since 1981. 

“We now have the opportunity to increase our contribution to meeting housing needs and aspirations.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“It is good news that Right to Buy has finally had its day in Scotland. It has no place in Scotland’s housing system today.

“More than half a million social homes were sold off under Right to Buy in Scotland. For every three homes sold only one was built in replacement – so no wonder we have a housing crisis in Scotland.”

Graeme Brown added:

“Now that right-to-buy is consigned to history - and with a waiting list of 150,000 for a council house – what Scotland desperately needs now is a step change in the delivery of affordable housing. We need to build at least 12,000 new affordable homes a year to meaningfully tackle Scotland’s housing crisis. We also need a new national homelessness strategy to get to grips with the root causes of homelessness.

“Only with these progressive changes will we start to address the profound damage caused to our housing system by policies like Right to Buy and the decades of under-investment in affordable housing.”