(Title Image: The Guardian)
Yesterday, AMs passed the final version of the Abolition of Right to Buy Bill.
Housing & Regeneration Minister, Rebecca Evans (Lab, Gower) said the law will form a key part of Welsh Government housing policy and will protect social housing for those most in need. Ending “Right to Buy” will also give local authorities and housing associations confidence to invest in new developments.
The Minister also paid tribute to the late Carl Sargeant, saying he would’ve been “pleased” to see the Bill pass and “worked extremely hard to bring this legislation forward”.
Once the Bill is granted Royal Assent (likely to be in January), social housing tenants will have one year in which to take up their Right to Buy before the ban comes into effect.
Shadow Housing Minister, David Melding AM (Con, South Wales Central), described Right to Buy as “extremely successful” because it allowed people on lower incomes to purchase a home. He accused the Welsh Government of not listening to the Conservative’s “sensible amendments” to the Bill. He ended by saying the Bill doesn’t serve the people of Wales, but “a narrow, left-wing ideology, oblivious to all evidence and decades of success.”
While Plaid Cymru welcomed the Bill, their half-in, half-out member, Neil McEvoy AM (Plaid–Ind, South Wales Central) could not support a Bill that “takes away an option for working class people to own their own homes”. He called for local people to be given priority for local social housing, more work to be done to bring the estimated 23,000 empty homes back into use and stricter planning rules to force developers to build “genuinely affordable housing”.