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Don’t ‘focus’ on second homes to tackle housing crisis, says Tory MP

24 May 2021 2 minutes Read
A picture from Virginia Crosbie’s website.

The “focus” of tackling the housing crisis on Anglesey should not be on second homes, according to a Tory MP.

Virginia Crosbie, said she agrees housing on the island is in crisis, but claimed that second home owners are not the “root” of the problem.

She made the comments in the wake of figures from the Land Registry show a 16% spike in house prices on the island in a year.

The MP called on the Welsh Government to build more affordable homes so that people can “stay in their communities”.

Anglesey council has put a premium on council tax for empty homes and second homes, and started a programme of building social housing to try to get to grips with the issue.

Virginia Crosbie told BBC Wales: “House prices are spiralling out of control and some people put that down to second homes but it’s actually much more complicated than that.

“If we focus on second home owners then we’re not going to get to the root of this significant problem.

“It absolutely is a crisis. When I speak to young people on the island they tell me they want to afford to buy their own homes to stay in their communities and to bring up their families and to protect the Welsh language and culture here.

“This crisis has been a car crash waiting to happen. What we want to see is the Welsh Government building affordable homes in places and communities where people want to live.”

‘Committed’ 

A Welsh Government spokesperson said it was “committed to building high quality affordable homes for all”.

The spokesperson added: “We are well aware of, and concerned about, the impact large numbers of second homes can have in some parts of Wales.”

“We are committed to building an additional 20,000 low carbon homes across Wales and developing a Welsh language community housing plan.”

The leader of Anglesey council – Plaid Cymru’s Llinos Medi Huws. has said she has faced difficulty in buying a home on the island: “Only two years ago I was able to buy a terraced house here in Llannerchymedd for me and my children.

“But without the support of my mother I wouldn’t be able to afford the deposit. To think about buying a house today would be impossible for me.”

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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
20 days ago

Could somebody please define what they mean by ‘affordable’ when they use this term. The houses that I have come across that are labelled as ‘affordable’ are certainly not so, relative to local salaries.

Can I please advise the WG too that many of these (certainly in the part of North Wales where I live) so-called ‘affordable’ homes are quickly snapped up by investors and our young people don’t have a chance of actually buying one? This is something that needs to be tackled.

Last edited 20 days ago by Mr Williams
Miss J
Miss J
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Affordable (and marketed) to those across the border…

hdavies15
hdavies15
20 days ago

…”we want to see is the Welsh Government building affordable homes in places and communities where people want to live” ….On the face of it an admirable statement but when placed in the context of who said it, it becomes a shabby piece of deflection. Try harder if you want to cover up your indifference Ms Crosbie.

K L
K L
20 days ago

Well I don’t have a mother to help me. This govt has stolen my pension so I’m being passed from pillar to post, often facing homelessness

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
20 days ago

Was this a joke? Standing in front of a portrait of the woman who destroyed the UK social housing market with RTB, discounts and the ban on councils using proceeds to build those social homes is extracting the urine. I suppose she can be forgiven for being both young and stupid, she can’t help that, but a little more awareness of what her politics causes would not go amiss. For Mr Williams’ edification, the government definition of “affordable” is that mortgage repayments are higher than council house rents and lower than average local mortgage payments. This has three tiny wee… Read more »

Quornby
Quornby
20 days ago

Posing with a portrait of the worst PM the UK has ever suffered. How appropriate.

Geraint
Geraint
20 days ago

There’s no reference anywhere in this debate regarding having a sustainable housing policy. There’s a bigger question no one wants to address, housing stock- how much? Where? Where not? For whom & why? Serviced by what (shops leisure amenities schools transport infrastructure)? To service what (industry farming amenities local national or international trade transport)?
There’s way more to this than house for Gareth and Gwyneth or Richard and Hermione and how much it is going to be worth. Or do we not want to think of the bigger picture while ‘it’s all about me’?

Cymreigiwr
Cymreigiwr
20 days ago
Reply to  Geraint

The elephant in the room is that this is regulatory negligence – a market failure has been allowed to fester for decades because it empowers wealth and the boil is now coming to a head, destroying communities and ruining people’s lives. An open unfettered market is utterly incapable of compensating for a situation rooted in a disparity of means, with limited supply of housing and practically inexhaustible external demand in terms of buyers far wealthier than locals. There must be a fundamental change in the rules to create a new system that redresses the balance and empowers communities to manage… Read more »

Geraint
Geraint
20 days ago
Reply to  Cymreigiwr

I would only add to that to identify the market is a success to those benefiting and voting for the Conservative party. There is a loyal group of people who do nicely thanks as things are. Without political will, media and communication to see the benefits to few and cost to many there will be an uphill struggle whatever group you’re in, culture, sexuality, gender, age, poverty or race. That’s the system as it stands, if your under any other impression I would ask you look closer and from different angles.

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
20 days ago

Jobs, jobs, jobs. End of.

Ric
Ric
20 days ago

The need of the Westminster Government and the Bank of England to maintain record low interest rates so that Govt can afford the interest on public debt is the root cause of the problem. Poor returns on all other investments like Govt Bonds drives money into residential property. How you fix this mess is anyones guess.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
20 days ago

You see, Virginia? This is one of the many reasons why your party will not get to form a government in the Senedd. New build is only part of the solution. Unaffordability, not scarcity, is the main problem. If priority could be given to locals regarding the purchase of older, more “desirable” properties, there would be very little need to plough up greenfield sites and put new housing on them. Unpalatable as it may be to your party, the unregulated housing market in the Bro Gymraeg must be curtailed, if not brought to an end by the Welsh Government.

Quornby
Quornby
20 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

The money grubbers party should not worry too much, the Welsh Labour Party doesn’t have the gumption to properly defend Wales, furthermore they’ll metamorphise into colonial tea planters the day after they get power in Westminster whatever they say now.

Mandi A
Mandi A
20 days ago
  1. Much more oversight needed when housebuilders attract s.106 grants then sell to rentiers.
  2. Why should people born and bred in Wales or people who supply the core labour for the community be corralled into tiny newbuilds? Reservations for natives or ghettos for the low-waged – take your pick of historical precedents.
Mark
Mark
19 days ago

classic case of “don’t look at this, look at that over there” typical tory distraction tactics,
has anyone asked her how she’s going to spend her £20,000 bung? maybe a down payment on a nice little cottage for holiday lets?

Janet Evans
Janet Evans
19 days ago

Said she who has a holiday home herself in Rhosneigr.

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