Five thousand people have signed a petition calling on the Welsh Government to give Local Authorities powers to control the housing market in order to address the current second homes crisis.
Crossing the 5,000 threshold on the petition means that the Petitions Committee will now consider the matter for a debate in the Senedd.
A rally to coincide with the petition is set to take place on Saturday, 21 November in Llanberis, Caerfyrddin and Aberaeron. The speakers will include:
- The prospective Senedd candidate for Dwyfor-Meirionydd, Mabon ap Gwynfor.
- The Carmarthernshire county cabinet member with responsibility over Rural Issues, Cefin Campbell.
- The campaigner Mirain Iwerydd.
Ffred Ffransis, a spokesperon on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that the Senedd “must” now debate the petition.
“The petition’s success highlights the strength of feeling that exists in our communities around this issue and proves the existence of the second homes crisis – a crisis with very destructive linguistic and economic consequences,” he said.
“The Welsh Government should listen to this message and act now to ensure the future viability of our communities.
“A multi-site rally will be held in three different locations in Wales, emphasising that the current problem truly is a national one. It will be an opportunity to send a clear message to the Government that we’ve had enough of its current inaction and that we demand change.”
Mabli Siriol, chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, the Welsh language campaign group responsible for setting up the petition, said that the Welsh Government needed act on the issue of second homes.
“The difficulties facing young people who want to buy a house in their community are a sign of a wider problem in the housing market across Wales,” she said.
“People are unable to buy houses on the market locally, tenants are facing high rents and poor conditions, and new housing developments prioritise developers’ profits over the needs of local people.
“The fundamental problem is that this is ultimately left to the market. We need community control over the housing market to ensure homes for people. The Government must put in place a package of urgent measures to control the housing market, and political parties must commit to introducing a Property Act during the next Senedd term so that we can tackle the problem at its root.
“However, while the Welsh Government operates within an economic policy framework that prioritises the profits of the few over housing for all, this crisis will not be solved. Politicians should do the right thing and decide, for once, to put the interests of communities before the interests of capital.”