Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

‘The housing crisis is not some inevitable natural disaster’ – Labour MP

21 Mar 2024 4 minute read
A Nid yw Cymru ar Werth banner at Bangor march

A rally is set to take place in May, calling on the Welsh Government to introduce a Property Act to create a housing market suitable to the needs of Wales.

Ahead of the event, Beth Winter MP and Mabon ap Gwynfor MS have emphasised the magnitude of the crisis facing Welsh-speaking communities as they look forward to Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s ‘Property Act – Nothing Less’ rally in Blaenau Ffestiniog on 4 May.

The rally, which will take place on International Workers’ Day, will be a platform for speakers and attendees to demand that the Welsh Government introduce and pass a ‘Property Act – Nothing Less’ before the end of the current Senedd term.

Community need

The objective of such an act would be to ensure that houses are treated first and foremost as community needs and not financial assets for profit.

Beth Winter, the Labour Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley and one of the main speakers at the rally, said: “Everyone should have the right to a home in their own community.The housing crisis is not some inevitable natural disaster, it is the result of decades of deliberate political choices – choices that are driving people out of the communities they love.

“Housing is not an asset for profit, it’s a fundamental need, and people should be able to live and work in the communities they grew up in.

“On International workers day, I will be joining comrades in Blaenau Ffestiniog to fight for a Wales where we put the needs of the people first.”

Current measures

The Welsh Government has already introduced some measures to tackle some aspects of the housing crisis, for example enabling local authorities to introduce council tax premiums on second homes.

However, the current measures do not go far enough nor to the root of the housing crisis according to Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

A Wales is Not for Sale rally

He said: “Our communities have suffered decades of depopulation and lack of investment due to the failure of the open market to ensure that there are houses – homes – available for people and families to live in their communities.

“The Welsh Government has the ability to intervene in the free market which has proven to be so harmful to Wales and ensure that there are a sufficient number of houses for the needs of our communities. Unfortunately, until quite recently, the Government has been guilty of sitting back and letting the market control the fate of Wales.

“I am glad that the Government has started to take steps in the right direction by working together with us in Plaid Cymru to find solutions, but there must also be more urgency.”

Intervention

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS insists that further action, and a Property Act, is needed. He said: “The best and most effective way to solve the housing crisis would be to ensure that there are more than enough houses under public and community ownership of the highest standard in order to meet community needs. In the meantime, there must be intervention in order to control the market and make sure it works in favour of our communities.

“The right to a home is a basic right – a human right. So, the first step is to introduce an Act to ensure that the people of Wales have the right to a house fit for purpose. Such an Act would force the Government to take action.

“I am looking forward to the rally in Blaenau Ffestiniog in May in order to build support for this call and ensure that the new Prime Minister hears our voice.”

The Nid yw Cymru ar Werth [Wales is Not for Sale] march and rally will start at 2pm from the Diffwys Car Park in Blaenau Ffestiniog on Saturday 4 May.

The main speakers will be Beth Winter MP, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, housing portfolio holder in Gwynedd Council Cabinet Cllr Craig ab Iago, and Ffred Ffransis on behalf of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
3 months ago

Build more council houses. Allow money from any sales to be reinvested in new social housing. Limit the size of housing associations to keep them local and monitor for quality of service rather than management enriching themselves. Limit air B&B and holiday lets and second homes by a planning permission based licensing agreement.

Arthur
Arthur
3 months ago

I agree with a property act. However, the measures that have been introduced to date for second homes with a premium attached have unintended consequences. There has been so much abuse across Wales and I am advised that the authorities simply do not have the resources to enforce. In Ceredigion, where I live, they will have you believe that there has been a second home ‘pot’ generated in respect of this premium up to March 2023. I proved that this is completely false, rather it is the residents of Ceredigion who have contributed to this pot of money. There has… Read more »

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
3 months ago

It is interesting that this rally is to be held in Blaenau Ffestiniog as quick search on Rightmove for Blaenau Ffestiniog shows there are currently 36 houses for sale under £150,000 – which rather flies in the face of the arguement there are no houses for locals to live in. Mabon and the rest need to address the economic situation rather than blame others for a decades failure by the Welsh Govt to invest in rural areas. Young people will move to the jobs which provide a better life and its nothing to do with houses. This is purely a… Read more »

Arthur
Arthur
3 months ago

Here here. The result of the consultation in Ceredigion last year was that the second home premium would have no effect on affordable housing. Ceredigion CC raised it anyway and the reason they cited was that other Councils were doing it. This would then be ring fenced for that purpose – only a month or so later, the Plaid Cymru majority proposed to use for day to day purposes to plug a budget hole. Please note I have always voted for Plaid Cymru but this kind of politics is simply unacceptable. It was necessary for me to move away to… Read more »

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur

I agree it is a lack of well paid jobs.

Per
Per
3 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

Mostly caused by the M4 and A55 being used to create poverty

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

Blaenau Ffestiniog isn’t Morfa Nefyn. The holiday home brigade aren’t queuing up to snap up property in the slate villages but in the playground areas on the coast, so this is a false equivalent.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

I think you would be surprised how many holiday lets are in Blaenau Ffestiniog and surrounding areas because of the zip wire etc and because no one else wants to live in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

If it’s true that housing is being sidelined for use as holiday homes in Blaenau Ffestiniog, then the housing crisis is worse than most people thought.

Per
Per
3 months ago

How can someone local afford that, after 500 years of wealth stolen from this country

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.