Tackling Homelessness

Meeting communities’ housing needs and increasing the housing stock will also reduce the numbers of individuals and families facing homelessness in Wales. In the Senedd, we have prioritised tackling homelessness, and are awaiting new legislation to be developed following the White Paper on Housing published last Autumn.

Using the Housing First model and rapid rehousing, we will look to end homelessness, recognising that much of the challenge is not just those sleeping on the streets or in allocated temporary accommodation, but those people who are staying with friends and family.

One of the challenges is tackling long-term empty or unused property that could be someone’s home. Plaid Cymru’s campaigning has helped increase council tax premiums on empty properties, which have funded grants to increase the supply of affordable homes. There is no good reason why so many properties are left empty when they could be housing individuals and families.

We believe that everybody has the right to live within the community in which they were raised. Plaid Cymru has also supported a package of actions to tackle the challenge of second homes and holiday homes within our communities, with a substantial impact felt in Ynys Mon, Gwynedd and Pembrokeshire in particular where they make up a large amount of the available housing stock.

We have introduced powers for local authorities to require registration of a change of use for a property into a holiday home and to introduce a cap on the number of second and holiday homes within a community.

Many local authorities in Wales have now introduced a council tax premium on second homes, where the additional funds raised are put towards development of social housing for local residents. We are also looking to close loopholes which allow holiday homes to pretend to be legitimate lettings businesses, so that we can ensure that genuine self-catered accommodation businesses can be protected.

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