Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Housing Bill passed today
It was great to sit in the chamber today and vote through the Housing (Scotland) Bill which amongst other things restricts the Right to Buy council houses. I've said this many times before but I am fundamentally opposed to the practice of selling off housing stock from the public sector. What we've done is not ban the practice but limit it so that, along with our house building programme, we can start to address the crisis that the last government and the Tory policies of the 80s plunged us into. My parents bought their council house and I have no objection to those individuals who wish to take advantage of the policy but it should never have been brought in, in the first place. The whole thing got out of control with people buying their retired parents' and grandparents' houses for them. Apparently that was to "give them security" but having a tenancy with the council or local housing association is, I would say, pretty secure so there was no need. If we're honest most folk who did that were taking advantage of a situation where they could make / inherit a bit of money. Anyway it was great to be part of that today and I'm really looking forward to the next housing bill which will hopefully be done and dusted before the end of the session in April.