Perth and Kinross Council want the Government sponsored Right-to-Buy scheme, which enables sitting tenants to purchase council owned properties, suspended for the next ten years in a bid to protect their limited stock. The local authorities are seeking approval for a ‘pressured area’ designation which will suspend the right to buy for tenants living in the area who took out a new tenancy on or after 30 September 2002.
A consultation was held in December last year among the tenants affected by the proposals and the results of this showed that 58% of the respondents were in favour of the plans, while 34% were against them and 8% were undecided. Perth and Kinross Council want the entire local authority area designated as a pressured area with immediate effect. It is hoped that the suspension on right to buy will help ease the pressure on social housing and make sure the situation does not get any worse. Although private investors in the area are consistently organising property insurance quotes on residential properties they intend to let out, the area is still experiencing a huge demand for affordable housing.
Housing and Health Convener, Councillor Peter Barrett, said “The suspension of right to buy through pressured area status would help us preserve the scarce supply of affordable housing to rent in Perth and Kinross. There is far greater demand for social rented and other forms of affordable housing than there is supply throughout the Perth and Kinross area. There are thousands of people in Perth and Kinross who are in housing need and that is why this move is important.”
The council is working very hard to increase the amount of affordable housing available in Perth and Kinross; however, their job is being made very difficult when their social housing stock is being sold. The council have written to all tenants thanking them for taking part in the consultation. The results showed that the vast majority of tenants understand the reasons for this course of action and support the council.