Wait­ing list for coun­cil house over 14 years

Right to Buy sees a fifth of stock lost

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Res­i­dents in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are fac­ing waits of over 14 years for so­cial hous­ing, the Re­former can re­veal.

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion re­leased fig­ures last week to co­in­cide with the end of Right to Buy in Scot­land.

Ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion, they lost a fifth of all their hous­ing stock due to the Right to Buy pol­icy over the past 30 years, de­spite in­creased de­mand for af­ford­able rented ac­com­mo­da­tion.

They also said dur­ing the 2015/16 fi­nan­cial year, they had 651 ap­pli­cants on their hous­ing list but man­aged to re­house just 45 through relets.

As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man, Robert McLeary also re­vealed they hoped to start build­ing more homes soon.

He said: “Right to Buy ap­pli­ca­tions have de­creased in re­cent years as a re­sult of re­stric­tions put in place on the Mod­ernised Right to Buy, but we were an­tic­i­pat­ing an up­surge in ap­pli­ca­tion in a few years’ time when these were lifted.

“We are there­fore de­lighted that this will not hap­pen as los­ing a fur­ther large pro­por­tion of our stock would have threat­ened our vi­a­bil­ity as a lo­cal hous­ing provider.

“In re­cent years we have been un­able to de­velop new homes as a re­sult of the re­duc­tion in sub­si­dies avail­able from the gov­ern­ment for new house build­ing.

“The sub­sidy lev­els have re­cently been in­creased how­ever and we are hope­ful that we can start build­ing small scale de­vel­op­ments again, al­though this will be de­pen­dent on the avail­abil­ity of suit­able land in our area.”

In­tro­duced by Mar­garet Thatcher in the 1980s, Right to Buy al­lowed thou­sands of Scot­tish coun­cil ten­ants to buy their homes.

Sup­port­ers say it led to the great­est trans­fer of wealth from the state to the in­di­vid­ual in UK his­tory, but op­po­nents say it led to a short­age of so­cial hous­ing.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil leader, Ed­die McAvoy, also hailed the end of the con­tro­ver­sial pol­icy.

He said: “A large num­ber of peo­ple took up the op­por­tu­nity but the right de­ci­sion has now been taken.”

Clare Haughey MSP also hailed the end of the scheme: “I ap­pre­ci­ate that many have wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase their rented homes.

“How­ever, over the past 30 years nearly 500,000 so­cial hous­ing units have been sold off in Scot­land, with fewer than one in three be­ing re­placed.

“Over the next 10 years the abo­li­tion of the right to buy will keep up to 15,500 homes in the so­cial sec­tor that would oth­er­wise have been sold off, many even­tu­ally end­ing up in the more ex­pen­sive pri­vate rented sec­tor, which pushes up spend­ing on hous­ing ben­e­fits.

“Since 2007 the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has in­vested heav­ily in af­ford­able hous­ing and we will con­tinue to work closely with so­cial land­lords, in­clud­ing Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, as well as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor, to max­imise our in­vest­ment in hous­ing and de­liver on our am­bi­tious tar­get of 50,000 af­ford­able homes over the life­time of this par­lia­ment, in­clud­ing 35,000 so­cial homes.”

A Cam­bus­lang care home opened its doors to the lo­cal com­mu­nity on Satur­day, July 30 as it hosted its sum­mer fete.

Flem­ing­ton Care Home in Half­way hosts a sum­mer fete each year to al­low rel­a­tives, friends and neigh­bours the chance to en­joy a fun day while get­ting to know res­i­dents even bet­ter.

An event for peo­ple of all ages, the fete was de­clared a great suc­cess by or­gan­is­ers and those who at­tended the event.

It fea­tured a bouncy cas­tle and face paint­ing, as well as tra­di­tional games such as hook the duck and foot­ball.

Adults also had the chance to shop, with a range of stalls sell­ing jew­ellery, books, bric-a-brac and home bak­ing.

With a raf­fle also held, nu­mer­ous peo­ple left the event with beau­ti­fully cre­ated ham­pers of sweet treats. Fun The fete brought smiles to res­i­dents and visi­tors at Flem­ing­ton Care Home

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