‘Beyond heartbreaking’: Campaigners plan multi-site protest against Wales’ ‘housing crisis’

Picture by Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Language campaigners will hold a multi-site rally this Saturday in protest against what they are calling a “housing crisis” in Wales.

The campaigners are calling on the Welsh Government to give Local Authorities powers to control the housing market to ensure that people are not priced out of their own communities.

The rallies will take place in Carmarthen and Llanberis, while language campaigners in Ceredigion are set to walk 7 miles from Llanrhystud to a rally Aberaeron.

These calls form a part of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s ‘Wales is not for sale’ campaign which also includes a petition on the Senedd website with currently over 5,300 signatories.

“We can’t afford to wait until the election of a new government next year, as house prices have rocketed upwards during the pandemic in the rural areas, and local people are being forced out of the market,” Sioned Elin, a Cymdeithas yr Iaith spokesperson and one of the speakers at the rally in Carmarthen, said.

“The Government must act now to give Local Authorities emergency powers to control the housing market. The fact that over 5,300 people so far have signed our petition emphasises this urgent need for the Government to act now.”

 

‘Control’

The prospective Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate for Dwyfor-Meirionnydd, Mabon ap Gwynfor, will speak at the main rally in Llanberis, along with Elin Hywel (chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Communities Group) and Rhys Tudur (Nefyn town councillor).

Bethan Ruth, Mirain Iwerydd and Hywel Griffiths, will speak at the rally in Aberaeron, while Cllr. Cefin Campbell (who holds the Rural Affairs portfolio on Carmarthenshire Council), Cllr. Cris Tomos (who holds the Environment and Language portfolio on Pembrokeshire Council) and Sioned Elin will speak at the rally in Carmarthen.

Picture by Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Osian Jones, a spokesperson on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s ‘Wales is not for sale’ campaign said that the “current situation is beyond heartbreaking”.

“The right to live at home is completely fundamental if we are to ensure the continued viability of our communities, but unfortunately, young people are facing impossible barriers to settle in their own communities in an increasing number of areas in Wales.

“This is obviously not their fault, as this problem is completely beyond their control and delves from the fact that the housing market is a part of the open market which means that there isn’t sufficient public control over it. This results in a housing system that doesn’t work for our communities and that has now developed into a crisis.

“Because of this, we will be campaigning on Saturday and calling on the Welsh Government to introduce a series of urgent measures which would include giving Local Authorities the powers that they need to control the housing market.

“In the long-term, the Welsh Government also needs to introduce significant structural reforms, which includes a Property Act, in order to ensure that a crisis of this kind doesn’t arise again in the future and that the housing market works for communities, not capitalism.”

Arrangements for the multi-site rally (this Saturday, 21st November):

  • 2pm outside the council offices in Aberaeron;
  • 11am at Padarn Lake, Llanberis;
  • and at the county hall, Carmarthen at 11.00am.

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