Welsh Government must “act with utmost urgency” to solve housing crisis
Plaid Cymru is today (Wednesday 16 June) leading a debate in the Senedd on housing policy, calling on the Welsh Government to act immediately to address the housing crisis
The Welsh Government must urgently address the housing crisis in Wales, Plaid Cymru has said.
Housing in Wales is reaching crisis point, with some communities seeing 40% of the housing stock being made up of second homes, and 67,000 families on housing waiting lists across Wales.
A report released in March by Dr Simon Brooks, commissioned by the Welsh Government, predicts the crisis will worsen as a result of Brexit and the pandemic without serious government intervention.
Speaking ahead of today’s debate, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for housing and planning, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, said that “the Welsh Government has shown neither the ambition nor the political will with which to solve the housing crisis”, and urged them to “act with utmost urgency” on the matter.
Mr ap Gwynfor added that communities across Wales are suffering from the crisis, and emphasised the interventions Plaid Cymru want to see to mitigate the crisis.
Plaid Cymru spokesperson for housing and planning, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said,
“Shelter is a fundamental human necessity, and everyone should have the right to live in a safe and secure home - the Welsh Government has so far shown neither the ambition nor the political will with which to solve the housing crisis, and must act with upmost urgency to do so.
“One symptom of the current housing crisis that we are living in is the proliferation of second homes. People who want to live and work in their chosen areas, often the communities of their upbringing, are being priced out and can’t afford to do so due to rising property prices as a result of this increase in second homes and short term holiday lets.
“And this crisis is not just confined to these communities - it extends beyond rural and tourist areas, people are suffering across Wales. Thousands of people remain locked in a cycle of housing precarity, forced into regular moves, living in substandard rental accommodation, or having to choose between shelter and other necessities such as heating and food. This cannot go on.
“Plaid Cymru wants to see direct interventions to mitigate the crisis, such as changes to planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes, closing the loophole that allows second homeowners to register their property as ‘businesses’ in order to avoid paying the council tax premium, and the bringing forward of regulations to treble the Land Transaction Tax charge on the purchase of second properties.”