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Written by Claire Munro Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:12The Scottish Government could end the Right to Buy policy in Scotland, Housing Minister Keith Brown has announced to the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations' (SFHA's) annual conference in Glasgow today (Thursday 7th June).
In front of a packed hall of SFHA delegates, Mr Brown launched the consultation, ‘The Future of Right to Buy in Scotland' which will seek views on options including total abolition.
The SFHA has long campaigned for this policy to be curbed, or even ended, in order to preserve much-needed social housing at a time when there is ever-growing demand for it.
The affordable rented sector in Scotland has lost around half a million properties to Right to Buy sales since its introduction in 1980, while the complex nature of the rules make it difficult for housing associations to administer and for tenants to understand.
Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said:
"We are very pleased that the Minister has listened to the SFHA's representations on Right to Buy and included within the consultation an option to end Right to Buy in Scotland once and for all.
"We agree with the objectives of further restrictions to the Right to Buy, but we are concerned that any variations will simply add another layer to an already incredibly complex set of rules and regulations. Many of the Right to Buy rules in Scotland are extremely awkward to follow for those administering the scheme, and hard to understand for tenants.
"There is clear agreement in our sector, that although beneficial to some individuals, the Right to Buy has no place in an affordable rented sector that is striving to meet the growing housing needs of Scotland's population. The stark fact is that demand for rented accommodation is now far outstripping supply. We would urge all housing associations and co-operatives to support the option in the Scottish Government's consultation document to end all forms of the Right to Buy in Scotland."
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1) The SFHA was established in 1975 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
2) The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country's affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
3) Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
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