HIGHLAND Council is supporting an option being considered by the Scottish Government to end the right that council house tenants have to buy their homes.
The council believes that ending the right to buy scheme will help it meet the growing demand for affordable rented accommodation as housing waiting lists grow.
Welcoming the consultation, the council’s finance, housing and resources committee convener Dave Fallows said: “Like the Scottish Government, we recognise that many people want to own their own homes but we do not believe that this should be at the expense of homes in the social rented sector, particularly given the very great need for, and the serious and persistent shortage, of these houses and the limited availability of public funds.”
He added: “There is a chronic and persistent lack of social rented housing in Highland which is projected to persist in the future. Pressures are not diminishing and are expected to increase with the changes to homelessness duties and the effects of welfare reforms.”
The council has revealed that 57 per cent (15,244 houses) of its housing stock has been sold through the right-to-buy legislation since 1981.
Pressured Area Status, covering most of the Highlands apart from a few Caithness communities, was introduced in 2005 to stem the loss of council homes. Last year, 79 houses were sold through the right-to-buy scheme.