Council and social housing tenants in Penarth now have just 12 months to buy the homes they live in – or carry-on paying rent forever.

The Welsh Labour Government’s decision to strip council tenants of the “right to buy” their council homes will damage social mobility in the  Vale of Glamorgan, says Penarth   Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central). 

In 1980, council tenants throughout the UK were given the “right to buy” their council homes –  at a substantial discount to market prices – under Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government. Although the “right to buy” was opposed tooth-and-nail by die-hard socialists, it proved immensely popular with the general public.

Penarth Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies

Andrew R T Davies says that many families in the Vale of Glamorgan had only ever managed to get on the “housing ladder” – and become property owners – because of the enlightened scheme.

Now that “ladder” is being removed by the Welsh Labour Government – which this week is starting work on dismantling the scheme.

It means that  thousands of tenants living in council houses and flats  – and in living in social housing –  will no longer have a right to buy the homes they live actually in – and will be left with no option but to carry-on paying rent in perpetuity.

Davies, who is the leader of the Welsh Conservative Party – says “There are few prouder moments than owning your own home, and here in the Vale many families were able to do so because of right to buy. Without it, home ownership was nothing more than a pipe dream. The Welsh Government’s decision shows that Labour are the enemies of aspiration. They are putting ideology before helping people get on in life.”

The Welsh Conservative Party is opposing Labour’s draconian measure but Labour’s minority government in Cardiff Bay  is kept in office by a pact with Plaid Cymru and a deal with the Liberal Democrats which will force the anti-home-ownership measure through and will abolish a right which council tenants and social housing tenants have enjoyed for 37 years.

Tenants now have just one more year to apply to buy their homes under the old rules before Labour removes the right to buy and forces them to remain tenants .

Since the scheme was introduced in 1980, 139,000 council and housing association homes have been bought outright by the tenants living in them . Labour claims this has resulted in a 45% reduction in public housing stock – but critics say that allegation doesn’t hold water because the same people still occupy the property; all that’s changed is the ownership of the bricks and mortar.

Plaid Cymru – who prop up the minority Labour Government in Wales –  say “We welcome the proposed move to scrap it altogether and regret that the Labour Welsh Government has taken so long to abolish this most Thatcherite of policies.”


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  1. So many people have been able to buy their Council or Housing Association homes under this extremely popular law, and now it is to be done away with by Labour on the grounds of so-called need.
    This means that many in and around Penarth are unlikely to ever own their well loved home as a consequence of this spiteful move in Cardiff Bay. It will also affect those who can no longer meet the criteria for renting a Council house, who could well find themselves moved out by the local council. This is a move I willl bittterly oppose if given the opportunity in Penarth, as people value their homes more than anything else.

  2. Sadlab says:

    They don’t want to deprive people of social housing -so they say and yet they demolish thousands of rented homes at the Billybanks only to replace them with mainly private housing when it suited them.
    Total hypocracy once again.

    • Peter Church says:

      Don’t forget where the the AM Vaughan Gethin lives!
      Looking down on the poorer parts of his constituency, where the stupid Labour voters live and put him up on his million pound perch.

  3. Paul Fenton says:

    Do the right thing in May and get this lot out.

  4. NickP says:

    So Plaid backs up the socialists plan to prevent people owning their homes. They want to keep control of people. Scary; remember that when you vote…

  5. Ian Perry says:

    The problem is that government after government has built an economy, not on manufacturing, infrastructure or skills, but on ever rising house prices! The average house price is now almost six times the average salary. Not so long ago, banks would restrict buyers to a mortgage of a maximum of 3.5 times their annual salary.

    Both Mr Davies and Me Earnest seem to be after some sort of Oscar for being in la la land with their opinions on the housing market.

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