§ Mr. Ingram
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if Scottish Homes has any plans to sell off vacant houses to private landlords or other housing agencies and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
[holding answer 4 December 1989]: One of Scottish Homes objectives is to increase housing choice in Scotland, and more specifically to encourage owner occupation. In pursuing this objective Scottish Homes will consider the opportunities provided by vacant houses in their stock including sale to its own tenants under its portable discount scheme, in the light of local needs and circumstances.
Under the terms of Section 2(3A) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 as introduced by Section 179 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 Scottish Homes power to dispose of land may be exercised only with the consent of the Secretary of State.