Aberdeen bans right-to-buy

The council applied to the Scottish Executive for ‘pressured area’ status – the eighth region to do so in the last two years.

Communities Minister, Stewart Maxwell, admitted this would not be the last area to do so either as Scotland faced a severe shortage of affordable housing.

“Aberdeen City Council requested the suspension of RTB to ease the substantial pressures facing affordable housing in the city and I would ask other councils to consider whether it could be used as a suitable response to particular pressures within their areas.

“The Scottish government wishes to explore ways of achieving greater local flexibility in the operation of the RTB. The pressured area mechanism is one way of achieving this, but we will be looking at what more can be done to make the scheme more responsive to local needs, while taking into account the rights of existing tenants.”

This follows the Conservatives proposed changes to RTB which would encourage tenants to purchase their homes.

Neil Johnson, head of PR and policy at the Building Societies Association, commented:

“There is nothing wrong with RTB and if people want to buy their home, they should be allowed to do so. What hasn’t worked is councils are failing to invest the sums they have raised through RTB back into affordable housing. If they used the funds from a RTB sale to build another affordable house, you get more people into permanent housing, instead of holding someone in the same property and making them rent.”

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