The Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill was today given final approval by the National Assembly for Wales meaning it can now go forward for Royal Assent.
Following the successful vote in the Assembly this afternoon, the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Rebecca Evans, said:
“I am delighted the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights Bill has passed its final stage and can now go forward for Royal Assent. Ending the Right to Buy ensures we safeguard the investment made in social housing over many generations, for Welsh families now and in the future.
“This will also give local authorities and housing associations the confidence to invest in new developments to help meet the need for quality, affordable housing in Wales.
“I am grateful to all those who have played a role, both inside the Assembly and out, in getting us to this important stage.
“I would also like to say how pleased Carl Sargeant would have been to see the Bill reach this final stage. He believed passionately in protecting our social housing stock for those who need it most and worked extremely hard to bring this legislation forward. I am delighted to be able to help steer it through its final stages and on to the Welsh Statute book.”
The Right to Buy has been a feature of social housing for many years in Wales and has resulted in the loss of a significant number of homes – more than 139,000 between 1981 and 2016.
Although sales of social housing have slowed in recent years, social housing stock is still being lost at a time of considerable housing supply pressure. This has resulted in people in housing need, many of whom are vulnerable, waiting longer to access a home they can afford.
This Bill was introduced last March, following a White Paper consultation in 2015, and now passed, abolishes all variations of the Right to Buy, including the Preserved Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire.
Provision in the Bill allows at least one year after Royal Assent before final abolition on existing properties. But to encourage investment in new homes, the rights will end for homes that are new to the social housing stock, and therefore have no existing tenants, two months after Royal Assent.