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Campaigners call for Property Act to tackle housing shortages in Wales 

05 May 2024 3 minute read
Images from Cymdeithas Cymru

Campaigners urged the Welsh Government to introduce a Property Act at a Nid yw Cymru ar Werth (Wales is not for Sale) rally and march in Blaenau Ffestiniog on Saturday.

Hundreds of people attended the protest, which called for legislation to tackle housing shortages and ensure that houses are treated first and foremost as community needs and not financial assets for profit.

They warned that legislation would not be passed in this Senedd term without renewed efforts and campaigning.

Discussions

Among the main speakers were the language campaigner Ffred Ffransis, Craig ab Iago, the housing portfolio holder for Gwynedd Council Cabinet, Beth Winter, Labour Member of Parliament for the Cynon Valley, and Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Dwyfor-Meirionnydd.

Ffred Ffransis said on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith that the movement held a national conference to discuss a Property Act, and that members of Cymdeithas yr Iath had continued the discussions with Welsh Government officials since then.

Images from Cymdeithas Cymru

However, he said that the Welsh Government had no intention of truly tackling the housing crisis: “The Welsh Government’s White Paper on The Right to Adequate Housing will be published in the summer, but we can now announce on behalf of the Government that there is no intention to introduce a Property Act in this Senedd term.

“Indeed, we believe that the intention is to abandon any radical policy steps before the election, following the style of their British leader Keir Starmer, despite decades of campaigning and despite the crisis facing our Welsh communities, which are losing ground month after month. They would rather we lose our homes, than they lose their home in the Senedd.

“This is why we will start a new campaign here today to get thousands of people to sign the call for a ‘Property Act – Nothing Less’ call and present the call to the Welsh Government in a month on the grounds of the Urdd Eisteddfod, Wales’ main Youth Festival.

“A White Paper will not be acceptable without a commitment to a Property Act that will provide housing for our young people in their communities, and our response to the White Paper will highlight that in the summer.”

Communities

Beth Winter AS said: The people who live and work in Wales are in the best position to know what is needed in our communities, and decide how wealth is created. That is why this Act is so important.

“Adequate housing should be a right for everyone, not a privilege for the wealthy. A Property Act would be another link in the chain towards creating a fairer, better Wales.”

Images from Cymdeithas Cymru

Mabon ap Gwynfor, the local Member of the Senedd and his party’s spokesperson on housing, said: “My inbox is full of teachers, teaching assistants, nurses who cannot afford houses to live in the communities where they work.

“That is the crisis we are living through, and why today and a Property Act are so important. Everyone should have the right to live in a house that meets their physical needs, that meets their economic needs, that meets their cultural needs.”


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hdavies15
hdavies15
17 days ago

A government with a serious commitment to enabling job creating businesses to grow and flourish across all of Wales would help greatly. Shunting every thing that looks wealth producing into those corners adjacent to flourishing parts of England is not smart thinking. There are different drivers to “crisis” in different parts of Wales and indeed within communities. One response will not fit all.

Arthur
Arthur
17 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

well paid jobs is the key to everything.

hdavies15
hdavies15
17 days ago
Reply to  Arthur

There are other factors but they too are influenced by well paid jobs, held by others ! Hence relatively well off people come into impoverished areas and buy up housing that natives can no longer afford, then use them as second homes or let them via airbnb or similar media. Our Bay regime needs to move on from shrugging its shoulders when asked about enabling business growth away from the eastern end of the M4 and A55 Corridors. A better supply of Social housing stock would go some way to mitigating the negative effects of such situations but don’t offer… Read more »

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