Published: 29/08/2012 14:34 - Updated: 29/08/2012 14:40

Highland Council backs proposal to end right to buy scheme

Highland Council has backed moves to end right to buy for council tenants
Highland Council has backed moves to end right to buy for council tenants

Highland  Council is to support an option being considered by the Scottish Government to end the right that local authority house tenants have to buy their homes.

The council believes that ending the right to buy will help it meet the growing demand for affordable rented accommodation as housing waiting lists grow in the region.

Fifty-seven per cent - 15,244 houses of the region’s council housing stock has been sold through right to buy since 1981.

Badenoch and Strathspey and most other parts of the Highlands already have Pressured Area Status meaning the homes can not be sold. 

Last year, 79 council houses were sold off in the region.

Councillor Dave Fallows, Chairman of the Finance Housing and Resources Committee, said: “We very much welcome this consultation.

“Like the Scottish Government we recognise that many people want to own their own homes but we do not believe that this should be at the expense of homes in the social rented sector, particularly given the very great need for, and the serious and persistent shortage, of these houses and the limited availability of public funds.

“There is a chronic and persistent lack of social rented housing in Highland which is projected to persist in the future. “Pressures are not diminishing and are expected to increase with the changes to homelessness duties and the effects of welfare reforms.”

In its submission, the council stated: “The sale of social rented stock has contributed to the chronic housing shortage and increase in pressure on housing and homelessness across the Highlands. 

“In rural communities, sales have seriously depleted the housing stock available to meet local housing need.

“Moreover, research indicates that ex-council properties sold on the open market are often unaffordable to many local households.”

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