Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Aberdeen council chiefs plan to help ease city housing shortage with introduction of controversial Right to Buy scheme

Councillor Sandra Macdonald.
Councillor Sandra Macdonald.

Former council homes in Aberdeen could be bought back by the local authority in an effort to help house the more than 6,000 people on the city’s waiting list.

In March, council leaders Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden, announced plans to invest £250 million in a council housing scheme with proposals to build 2,000 new homes.

Now the authority has confirmed plans for potentially buying back sold homes under the controversial right to buy scheme – and has said it will already consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

The scheme is at an early stage and there have been no costings done yet but the authority believes it could prove significantly cheaper to buy back former homes than building new ones.

Property schedules reveal a former two-bedroom council house in Middlefield is currently available for about £105,000, while a two-bedroom flat in Tillydrone Court can be had for around £58,000.

In contrast, new-build properties appear by far the more expensive option,

In June, council chiefs completed a £13 million scheme in Smithfield made up of 42 three and four-bedroom semi-detached properties and also 57 one and two-bedroom flats.

That works out at approximately £131,313 per property.

Other major plans are also in the pipeline for more new houses to help the administration meet its ambitious targets, but it’s thought the buy-back plan will be an important addition to the scheme.

Temporary housing, such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, come at a high financial cost to the local authority.

In May it was revealed that over the past three years, the authority has spent almost £26 million placing homeless people, or those at risk of homelessness.

In 2017-18, there were 1,541 people requiring its services, including 38 who were evacuated from a block of flats following a boiler fire. That represented an increase of 20% on the 1,266 relocated by the council in 2015-16.

Large profits have been made by some under the former right to buy scheme, which was suspended in many areas of the city in 2012 by the council and then across Scotland in 2016.

In Aberdeen suburbs like Bridge of Don and Cults, former council houses can reach more than £250,000.

Sandra Macdonald, the council’s housing spokeswoman, said: “We have instructed officers to explore options in relation to revising our buy-back policy and look forward to considering a report on the matter in due course.

“In the meantime we are flexible in looking at individual proposals on a case by case basis.

“As a council we are committed to exploring all options for meeting the housing challenges we face and are determined to pursue innovative solutions as part of a wider strategy that will drive positive change in the city.”

Opposition SNP housing spokeswoman Jackie Dunbar said that the idea had originated in their budget proposals earlier this year.

She said: “I was delighted that the administration accepted this part of the SNP budget and I look forward to not only getting the report back but hopefully seeing the start of the council being able to buy back properties from private owners when possible, that they may wish to sell back to the council.

“This is a great way of increasing our housing stock, supplying new housing stock does not necessary mean that it has to be new builds all the time.”

Aberdein Considine have their say

A leading north-east law firm, which sells property, has described the council’s housing plan as an “interesting idea”.

Chris Comfort, a partner at Aberdein Considine, said: “It’s an interesting development and encouraging to see the local authority exploring this avenue in light of the current market conditions and council housing shortage.

“While it may be met with some contention by taxpayers in the north east, any additional stimulus in the local property market is welcome.

“In the current market in Aberdeen, where despite a recent increase in the volume of sales and corresponding pick up in the oil and gas sector already stimulating the local economy, the market is far from its peak.

“Iff seen through to fruition such a scheme, if managed correctly, may provide a welcome option to those struggling to sell their own homes.”