Scottish Government
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Right to Buy to end for new tenants

New council house and housing association tenants will no longer have the Right to Buy (RTB) their homes, it was confirmed in proposals unveiled to MSPs today.

RTB for new-build social housing in Scotland will also be scrapped.

The reforms are part of the Housing Bill, a legislative package of measures to improve the supply and quality of housing in Scotland.

An amendment to the Bill will allow ex-forces veterans to establish 'local connections' that improve their chances of accessing social housing in their area.

The creation of a new Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR), and the introduction of a charter for social housing, aims to improve value for tenants and taxpayers by assessing landlords' performance.

Over the past 30 years the RTB scheme has resulted in the sale, at a discount, of almost half a million rented homes in Scotland.

Over the next decade the RTB reforms are expected to retain up to 18,000 properties in the social housing sector that would have been sold off.

Housing Minister Alex Neil said:

"The Housing Bill is a major piece of legislation that will increase the supply of affordable housing and improve the quality of housing in all sectors.

"The Scottish Government is investing a record £1.5 billion in affordable housing - including a new generation of council housing. These far reaching reforms will safeguard that investment for future generations.

"The modernisation of regulation will put the interests of tenants and homeless people at the heart of housing regulation and encourage landlords to improve the services that they provide for their customers.

"We have listened and taken on board the views of the housing sector across Scotland and, I believe, command their support for these radical changes.

"I want to maintain that dialogue and therefore I am establishing a stakeholder group so that I can explore with them how we can strengthen and improve the Bill as it progresses through the Scottish Parliament."

Around one in four Scottish households live in social housing, which provides a secure and sustainable alternative to home ownership for over 600,000 households across the country.

Reforming RTB is central to the Government's support for an increased supply of social housing - including support for new council housing. Properties will remain available to rent; and landlords will retain the rental income for properties that otherwise might have been sold.

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