Scottish government accepts council request to solve affordable housing shortage

The Scottish government has suspended right to buy for council tenants in North Ayrshire following a plea from the local council.

Ministers have accepted a request to give 11 letting areas ‘pressured area’ status so that they can continue to offer affordable housing to people on low incomes.

Councillor Tom Barr of North Ayrshire Council said: “The Council is committed to meeting the affordable housing need of local people and to eradicating homelessness. By supporting our application, the Scottish government has contributed to this vision by allowing us to retain social housing in highly pressured areas."

Tenants within the 11 designated areas will have their right to buy suspended for five years, although only if their tenancy commenced after September 30 2002. This applies to an estimated 1,237 tenancies.

Communities minister Stewart Maxwell said that councils should consider carefully whether requesting pressured area status was the best way to solve housing problems before applying. However, he also said that the Scottish government were committed to introducing legislation to end the right to buy for new build social houses.

North Ayrshire Council is the ninth Scottish council to suspend right to buy in order to protect access to affordable housing. The first was East Renfrewshire in October 2005.