Remember the Affordable Housing LCO? It caused a considerable fuss under scrutiny from the Welsh Affairs Select Committee earlier this year in particular due to its desire to transfer power on council tenant’s right to buy their homes from Westminster to the Assembly before bring killed off.
This morning the Deputy Minister for Housing, Jocelyn Davies, published its successor: the Sustainable Homes LCO.
Well this one’s longer and has considerably broader scope. In fact the only this it has in common with the Affordable Housing LCO is Matter 11.5 which would transfer the legislative competence to "enable the National Assembly, if it so wished, to replace the current Right to Buy scheme with improved and updated schemes".
So it would give the Welsh Assembly the power to abolish right to buy if it wanted to.
But this might not cause quite such a stir this time around. Why? The WASC’s complaint was, basically, that the powers asked for in the Affordable Housing LCO were too specific and so they ended up scrutinising the laws the Assembly could make instead of asking whether or not they should get the powers to make them. This time that job should be left to Assembly Members if and when the LCO comes into force.
How far it will get on its journey is hard to say because the General Election round the corner could put things on hold just a little bit...
PS to learn more about the process of transferring powers to the Welsh Assembly, see my colleague's very helpful diagram...