People should be able to get on the property ladder without it depleting our social housing stock. We must ensure everybody has a decent place to live
Housing is about so much more than having a roof over your head. A decent home means having somewhere to feel safe and secure, somewhere warm and dry that improves health rather than compromising it, an environment where children can focus on learning to help them get on in the future.
The Welsh government is committed to making this a reality for everybody. That is why the first minister has announced that we will introduce a bill to abolish the right to buy within the next year.
The introduction of the right-to-buy policy in 1981 has led to Wales losing more than 138,000 of its social housing stock. That represents a 45% reduction and forces many vulnerable people to wait longer for a home. In addition, the Welsh government is committed to continue investing £100m every year to ensure our homes are safe, warm and energy efficient and I do not want this investment lost to the private sector. Decisive action is needed to protect our social housing to make sure it is available for those who need it most.
Some may see our plans as stifling social mobility. This is not our intention. Not everyone can take advantage of the private housing markets and many families, including the vulnerable, depend on us to provide a safe, secure and affordable home. Research indicates a significant number of homes bought under the right-to-buy scheme have ended up in the private rented sector, which usually costs local people more to rent and costs the public purse more in terms of higher housing benefit.