AM welcomes important step to protect social housing stock

Local Assembly Member David Rees has welcomed a Welsh Bill to abolish the Right to Buy being given royal ascent, leading to a  landmark law that will protect housing stock and incentivise the building of new social housing.

The Act aims to protect the stock of social housing in Wales from further reduction, ensuring it is available to provide safe, secure and affordable housing for people who are unable to buy or rent a home of their own. It complements other actions being taken by the Welsh Government to increase the supply of housing in communities across Neath Port Talbot

Between 1981 and 2016, over 139,000 local authority and housing association homes were sold off under the Right to Buy across Wales.

This has led to a big increase in housing waiting lists and many vulnerable people having long waits or unable to get social housing.

Mr Rees said: “The right to buy has allowed many people to purchase their own house, which had been their home for many years, and given them and their families greater security.  However, it has also reduced the stock of housing available for social housing and created longer waiting lists for a house as fewer become available.”

“We cannot ignore the suffering that increasing housing lists cause. I am pleased that the Welsh Government is committed to significant investment in housing and has pledged to create 20,000 more affordable homes by 2021.  This new law should help social landlords to help achieve this. This legislation will give social landlords more confidence to invest in new housing, by removing the risk of these homes being sold after only a few years.”

“I have met with the Welsh Government to discuss plans and know that they will shortly be publishing more information for tenants which will be circulated by their landlords, to better explain what this Act means for them.”