Scotland is set to abolish the Right to Buy housing scheme by 2017 claiming it can no longer afford to lose social homes.
The policy, where council tenants can buy their own homes at a discounted price, was a key feature of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s tenure in the 1980s and has been revived by Chancellor George Osborne.
At the March Budget, Osborne raised Right to Buy discounts for social homes to £100,000 showing a growing divergence between the Scottish and UK Governments on housing policy.
The Scottish Government says up to 15,000 homes will be protected over the next decade and it will safeguard homes for future generations.
Any social housing tenant who still has the right to buy will have a period of three years to exercise it following royal assent of the Housing Bill, expected in Autumn 2014.
Scotland deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon says: “It is absolutely vital that people can access social housing when they need it most. Social housing is under significant pressure and so too are the budgets that support it.
“The Scottish Government is doing everything possible to maximise our investment in housing and deliver on our target of 30,000 new, affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament.
“But, given the pressure on both the housing stock and budgets – and with 400,000 people on waiting lists for social housing – we can no longer afford to see badly needed homes lost to the social sector.”
Shelter Scotland welcomed the move claiming it is an “outdated” policy and has no place on Scotland’s housing landscape.